Thursday, June 20, 2013


[DEPT. OF FULL DISCLOSURE:  I know Jon Lennon, Leo Perez, and Josh Filer, and I consider them friends.  That said, I do not give out favorable reviews due to bias.  Luckily, I’ve never had to trash a friend yet.  I think that’s because I’m really good at meeting and befriending talented people.]

This is it.  After years of tormenting Chicago conventions, PRODUCT OF SOCIETY has reached the end.  This is the last issue.  Creator Jon Lennon has been at this since 2007, and now he’s ready to move on to new projects.  Does he go out on a high note?

As with the last few issues, this one is an anthology, a primer for anyone who wants to peruse Artists Alley.  He starts this one out with a story written and illustrated by him called “At a Trailer Park.”  A bunch of rednecks hang out in a trailer park as one of them boasts that he finally got his chick pregnant.  The baby, sadly, looks like a flipper-handed alien.  Oh yeah, and Jesus is hovering around over this guy’s trailer, and He is pissed.  As usual, Lennon is grotesque and offensive as all hell, and he comes armed with awesome lines like, “My grandma taught me to fuck like a stoned giraffe,” and “He shit out a black hole!”  Where can you go wrong?

Next up is Josh Filer’s “Boar Semen Extender,” which was reviewed here.

The third story is Leo Perez’s “The Hidden Truth,” about a spaceman in the future who discovers that L. Ron Hubbard—sorry, El-Ron—is still alive.  He’s been feeding off Thetans and living on the outskirts of Venus, where his head as gotten really fucking large.  Of course, the spaceman has a plan . . . .  Seriously, you can’t go wrong with a story that not just makes fun of Scientology, but also tears it to pieces.

The fourth story is “Consume,” written and illustrated by Thor Fjalarsson.  It’s a rather unsettling story about how corporations ruthlessly use their employees.  A boss calls one of his employees into his office not to fire him, but, well, read the story and see for yourself.  That last page is fucking intense.

“Alien-Zombie-Vampires . . . from CANADA!!!” is probably the weakest story in the book.  Written and illustrated by Ray Wegner, it tells of the Canadian invasion of America, in particular Chicago.  It would seem that Canadian scientists managed to put together a hybrid of the three titular monsters, which they used to take down Chicago.  The problem is, this isn’t much of a story.  It seems like a prologue to something bigger.  The art’s pretty cool, though.

The last story, “Ailment,” is written by Lennon and illustrated by Alexis Moulds.  It seems to be about the deconstruction of beauty.  Surely, those who read Lennon’s work aren’t used to cute deer, birds, and squirrels in his work, but never fear.  It doesn’t last long.  A young girl frolics in the forest with her woodland creatures, but something is amiss.  What happens is brutal and gorgeous.  Check out that last panel.  It’s the perfect way to end the final book in the series.

Be sure to check out PRODUCT OF SOCIETY #6.  Lennon says maybe someday the title will come back in a much different form, but for now, this is the end of one of the finest series Artists Alley has produced.  Buy it before it goes out of print.

Written and illustrated by various artists
Published by CheeseLord Comics
24 pages


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