Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Moulger Bag Digest and Shitbeams on the Loose Brent Harada and Rusty Jordan's Moulger Bag Digest sports a beautiful, raucous offset cover printed on yellow paper. This 16-page mini-comic certainly screams, “Pick me up and read me!” Inside however, there’s not much to read. Moulger Bag Digest is all eye candy. Brent and Rusty take turns trying to outdo each other by drawing odd beasts and misshapen humans. I generally enjoy this type of thing and this one is no different than others that aim for this type of presentation. There’s the required nonsensical text at an odd angle that kind of relates to the drawing. This may seem like a lukewarm endorsement, but it’s not. The fun these two are having is evident as you flip through the pages. As I said, I enjoy this type of work and it you’re into watching people having fun drawing, you will too.

Not sure how much this one will set you back, but you can try to reach Rusty or Brent to find out where to buy and how much.

Shitbeams on the Loose also features Brent and Rusty, but includes a nice stable of artists like Mike Bertino, Ron Rege Jr, Matt Furie, Drew Beckmeyer, Luke Ramsey, Dave Nuss, Hector Serna, Thomas Crawford, Grant Reynolds, and Robyn Jordan.
Mike Bertino’s “Below Us” starts out the book in a blistering fashion. Two pages in, the reader is assaulted with painful visions of melting father figures and flaming skulls emanating from his character’s pounding head. Drew Beckmeyer’s piece, “The Birth of a Nation,” looks to be sketched with colored pencils and crayons. I loved the way his unique story is laid out like a fable or an Indian legend. Drew’s piece is uplifting with the perfect tone and length for a various artist book.
Luke Ramsey, who also does the gorgeous title page above, spends a few pages on intricately patterned drawings that mix absurdity and slight perversion. Good stuff! Dave Nuss’ one pager features Jesus on the cross refereeing a volleyball game, before Ron Rege’s one pager and Hector Serna’s sinister and spooky several pages of nasty looking heads. Thomas Crawford has a few pages of drawings and then Matt Furie tells the story of a rose dying on a gravestone. Shitbeems ends with some Grant Reynolds sketchebook stuff, which is always welcome, and a short piece by Robyn Jordan about the people you see regularly using the subway.

Everything here is pretty good and the pieces by Mike Bertino and Drew Beckmeyer are strong. Go to the Tender Loving Empire shop for your copy. Shitbeams is $12 for a sixty page square bound book.

While I was at Tender Loving Empire I listened to a couple bands - Jared Mees and the Grown Children and Finn Riggins. Turns out they are touring the Midwest right now and on October 16th they will be just down the street at Radio Radio for the ridiculously low price of $5. How can ou pass up a show with this flyer: