See this lovely machine? That is Oily’s new (used) Risograph. I had to plunk down a hefty chunk of change to get it. Last week, the old risograph malfunctioned and it was beyond my know-how to get it back up and running (if anyone wants a GR 2700 for parts get at me). So luckily there was a machine for sale a couple hours away and I jumped on it. Why am I annoying you with this? Well, this really ate into Oily’s budget for the rest of the year so, so I have decided to keep the subscription offer open until the end of July. Since I have had to push back printing since my old machine broke, I have more time to let more people in. I didn’t hit my goal of 200 subscribers this time out. Currently, we have about 150. If I can get 50 more, I would be a happy camper. Maybe I didn’t push this subscription campaign as hard as I could or maybe you all are just sick of Oily. I don’t know. So yeah, if you want to subscribe to some cool comic books, now is the time. Get 5 comics in the mail every month. Quality shit. Some names I of cartoonists, I have coming down the pike are: Leslie Stein, Sam Gaskin, Melissa Mendes, me, Michel Fiffe (interview zine), Ben Urkowitz, Darryl Seitchik, and more.
Thanks for reading. I never take your support for granted.
Nice deal for a bunch of interesting mini comics from Oily. $20 for 3 months’ worth, $40 for six months, and you may want to add another $5 for Josh Simmons’ 52 page Habit #1 as he’s always worth checking out. Note to self: don’t let anyone know I thought a Risograph was a kind of pen, because they’ll think I’m dumb.
Christopher Allen Reviews Cockbone
Writer/Artist - Josh Simmons
Available at author’s website
Once when I was a kid, I opened a book of matches at my grandparents’ house and a litter of baby spiders streamed out of it, over my hand. Now, THAT was disturbing, to the extent I still remember it today. Josh Simmons wants to disturb you, but is way too pleased with his work to be able to hide it. He’s going to call it All About Fuckin or in this case, “Cockbone,” and you’re going to know its degradation going in. Fair enough.
Simmons is a cartoonist who, like Ivan Brunetti, has improved his craft while at the same time pursuing a nihilistic endgame. The storytelling here is clear, the linework bold, and there are a handful of images that will stay in one’s mind the way a Charles Burns image might, a good example being Cockbone’s destroyed member itself. One can’t deny the power of that—what male hasn’t had a flashing worry about severe injury to his penis?
"Cockbone" is a pitch black horror story about a simple man whose only worth to his family or anyone else, apparently, are the hallucinatory properties of his semen. Incest ensues. Much blood is spilled. It ends badly for all.
As should be clear from the title alone, the comic is NSFW. I must admit, I was toying around with other words to use in place of Not Safe For Work, but I think it would be unfair to go so far as to call this Not So Fucking Worthwhile, or a Nihilistic Solipsistic Fucking Waste, just because it wasn’t worthwhile for me. And it really didn’t evoke a strong enough reaction for me to want to go after it like that, even though it seems like Simmons is aiming for something of the sort. I can get with Johnny Ryan, Crumb or Brunetti because of the solid comic instincts on which they hang their dark fabric, and Al Columbia’s work resonates like trauma I didn’t know I was repressing, but “Cockbone” seemed childish to me, its horrors unimaginative and empty, more like the film, Gummo. Not that everything needs to have lofty goals, but If there was a deeper ambition here, I couldn’t detect it. I will give Simmons credit for putting his toxic id right out there, unadorned and unencoded. There are a lot of mainstream comments with more insidious ideas. Still, that doesn’t mean I have to swallow it. Sometimes you get the bone, and sometimes the bone gets you.
— Christopher Allen