|YAMPY TALES #1
Comics by professional comics type person Lew Stringer. Lew is a
cartoonist in the old D.C. Thompson mould (Beano, Dandy, Whizzer
& Chips and the like) producing cartoons that are (as he states
on the cover of Yampy), "Not rude... Not crude... Just DAFT!".
In some ways Viz has attempted to supplant this sort of comic by
taking the piss out of it, but Lew shows cares not for the vagaries
of fashion (which have become mighty tiresome) and has the
integrity to put out a thoroughly entertaining comic that relies
purely on his craftsmanship and deep aptitude for the medium. This
style of comic may not be everyone's cup of tea. It only managed to
raise amused smiles, rather than laughs, but I have a definite
fondness for it which I freely admit may have a tinge of
By the way, the strips in this issue featuring Combat Colin (who's
sort of a cross between your British 007 super-spy type and one of
those military hard nut loners you get saving the day in successive
Hollywood films — but he's really that fat bloke wearing
battle fatigues who lives down your street) are reprints, but
unless you've avidly collected every shitty British news-stand
comic then you won't have seen them before. It's a shame they were
ever in them because Lew's work deserves better — but then
such is the state of the British comics industry, and Lew's got to
make a living somehow! The strips are also printed in black and
white — a format they were undoubtable designed for, and I
should imagine that their news-stand printings were (probably)
sloppily coloured. You get to see the work in its full glory.
YAMPY TALES [20 A4 PAGES] £1·20. L.W.STRINGER, 196
COVENTRY RD, NUNEATON, WARWICKSHIRE, CV10 7AU.
YES WE WERE SECRET LOVERS (ALL THE YOUNG
SUPERMEN VOL.1 #1)
Perhaps it's just me. Maybe I'm being dim and artless, but I just
don't get it with all these scribbles and cut-ups. There's some
badly drawn sex acts, hinting at mystery perhaps, and some
pulp-novel style illustrations, all punctuated with lots of
hyper-sub-Picasso art-wank noodlings. Hmmmmm!
Now I'm generally the first to stand up and gurn at the "But is it
art?" brigade, but this stuff lacks any spark of inspiration and
comes over like a derivative mass of inky ramblings.
When this kind of thing works, it works a treat, but all too often
it merely sidles in well behind the pack, half-heartedly yelping
"respect me, I'm weird". This is one of the latter occasions. Well
chaps, in my book respect is something you have to earn, and is not
given for any old tripe jousting for the kook vote.
Then again, the muse might just have passed me by this time.
Ohmygod, it's finally happened, I've turned into a Philistine! Call
YES WE WERE SECRET LOVERS [12 26x18 PAGES, CARD STOCK COVER]
£1·20. M.J.WELLER, VISUAL ASSOCIATIONS, 3 QUEEN
ADELAIDE COURT, QUEEN ADELAIDE RD, PENGE, LONDON, SE20 7DZ. Also
see Michael's Collected Cainsaw Cartoons 1980-1984 reviewed in the
main section and Wells Packet reviewed in Junior X-ray in this
YOU COME TOO
Not a comic as such, but an illustrated journal. Jeff Zenick
wanders around observing America, taking notes and sketching the
people and places he comes across. Here Jeff sketches views of
apparently banal U.S. life; everyday humdrum stuff, parking lots,
suburban housing, people on the bus, and lastly (and best) a
disused dynamite factory in a decaying industrial landscape. All
this is painstakingly detailed in a flat, non-perspective style
that borders on the naive. His drawings have an immediate, unforced
honesty. There's no showing off here, just the simple truth, that's
The writing that accompanies the drawings is not as successful.
There is a similar attention to detail: who he meets and where he
goes in the course of a few days. Nothing terribly exiting, and
Jeff isn't a good enough writer to be able to offer insight into
the everyday routine. His flaw here is that he tries a little too
hard, quoting Thoreau and Robert Frost, in the hope that something
might rub off. The best bits of You Come Too are when he describes
and listens to other people, relating their stories. As in his
drawing, observation is Jeff Zenick's strength, and he should
concentrate on it.
YOU COME TOO [32 22x14cm PAGES] $2 + $1 P+P. SPIT & A HALF,
P.O. BOX 18510, DENVER, CO 80218, USA. Due to Jeff's roving nature
his personal P.O. box no. changes too much for me to find a truly
up to date address — so best use Spit & a Half, as
they're a good distributor.
YOUNG ARNIE #3
Young Arnie mini-comics feature the eponymous anarchist tyke
getting blown up by his own bombs (a la Wile E. Coyote). Simon does
like to trundle along the railroad tracks of his gag-formula. The
best bits are the conversations between the characters, who love
and hate each other (except they keep swearing — I'm not
opposed to this on any silly moral grounds, but it wrecks the tone
of the strips). The part where Arnie gets blown up and killed is
always the least interesting.
But, stop the press! The silent opener is six pages of sepia
tinted wonder. Cute cartooning and pin-spot timing make me want to
pick up this mini-comic and lick it. Six perfectly chosen
YOUNG ARNIE #3 [36 10x11cm SEPIA ON CREAM PAGES] 50p.
SLAB-0-CONCRETE, PO BOX 148, HOVE BN3 3DQ. =OR= SIMON GANE, ARNIE,
PO BOX 1820, BATH, BA1 3TJ.
ZONE 5300 #12
A very impressive package from Rotterdam. Avant-garde
self-publishing comics are the main event (although this issue
features Jim Woodring strip and the previous one took in Julie
Doucet), but as they're just the dominant part of a mix which
includes music, personal columns, an overall theme (horror this
time) and pop culture in general. The whole thing is very
professionally presented, displaying a discreet, attractive design
sense and incorporating some neat ideas.
For example, the outstanding feature of this issue is a
cut-out-and-keep minicomic, complete with 4 colour covers: the
lower _ of the magazines back cover — an idea worth
'borrowing'. But it's not the idea that makes it outstanding: the
strip is Wasco's Poes (literally, 'Puss'), which combines familiar
iconic elements from the works of Hergé, Shultz and Herriman
(and possibly Chris Ware). It's simple, striking and completely
But alongside this you'll find a feature on Dutch horror films,
(some of which look delightfully tacky) and a great tendency to tie
as much as possible in with the horror theme (including the
Woodring strip). Given that subsequent issues will feature entirely
different themes, this gives each issue a strong identity within
the overall sense of designs and approach which informs the
Give it a try — I think you'll enjoy the look and feel of
it, although you might need a Dutch dictionary to help you out! But
I reckon reading comics is a good way to get to grips with a
foreign language — because you know how the visual language
works anyway — so you might even find it educationally
valuable, if that's what you want.
ZONE 5300 #12 [52 25x18cm PAGES, FULL COLOUR GLOSSY COVER]
¶3·95 OR BFr80, 12 ISSUE SUBSCRIPTION ¶42 OR
BFr864. ZONE 5300, POSTBUS 6080, 3002 AB ROTTERDAM, THE