BROTHER LONO #2: I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be back in Lono’s world. After the events at the end of 100 BULLETS, he is most definitely a changed man. In this issue, we learn how he wound up at the mission, but more importantly, we learn how he handles himself these days in the face of violence. For a guy who used to be an absolute lunatic, he has learned to rein himself in. He gets a gun shoved in his face in one scene, and all he can say, very quietly and calmly, is “sorry.” But it is clearly not easy for him. Eduardo Risso is very good at showing the wavering, flowing violence just crawling beneath Lono’s skin. There is no way Brian Azzarello is going to let him make it to the end of this mini-series without cracking some skulls. I can’t wait to see where this is going!
ARSENIC LULLABY: THE BIG STALL: Not too long ago, writer and artist Douglas Paszkiewicz was ready to just give up on his long-running indie book, THE ARSENIC LULLABY. And then, someone told him about Kickstarter, so he decided to give it a shot as a last ditch effort to keep the book alive. I jumped on this motherfucker as soon as I heard about it, and so did a lot of other people. Now, THE BIG STALL is finally out, and it’s awesome as all hell. A lot of it is a collection of strips he did for MAD, but they decided they were too harsh for their readership. And yeah, they were probably right. Of course, Paszkiewicz is a harsh bastard, as we all know, and it’s perfect for HIS readership. There are also a few bigger stories in here, like “Baron Von Donut Ruins Xmas” and my personal favorite, “Sympathy for Cthulhu,” in which Cthulhu goes to a newspaper office and tries to figure out a way he could get people to panic in his name. He goes to great fuckin’ depths to achieve this, some Machiavellian shit, but the funniest part is how mundane his real plan is. One of my favorite lines is when Cthulhu says, “All the decent ‘joiner’ types get into the KKK or Satan worshipping. All I get are disgruntled English lit students.” You’ll also find a lot of WIZARD OF OZ humor, a few Nazi laughs, a few jokes at the expense of tsunami-flattened cities, and a Rabbi who circumcises babies by throwing knives at them. Only those with a nasty sense of humor need apply. (And hey! Look at that! There’s my name on the Special Thanks page!)