Shameless Plug Dept.:
My amigo Mark Martin may be a gadfly in the comment section herein, but he is among the world's most marvelous cartoonists in my mind. I've been addicted to Mark's work since before we met, and since then -- well, my vein is already tied off and throbbing, as it has been since 20 Nude Dancers 20 vanished from the pages of The Comics Buyer's Guide and the Lillian Spencer Drake catalogue gasped its final gulp of inky air. My vein is gasping, too, like a beached pollywog. And here comes the needle -- Runaway Comics! -- the fix I need of Mark Martin!
Mind you, Mark has done a great many comics since 20 Nude Dancers 20: he brought Underwhere to life, as the illustrator of the graphic novel, though its wasn't his project per se, providing a rare glimpse of Mark as the "hired hand" most cartoonists remain (the core concept, story & script were Kevin Eastman and Paul Jenkins, if memory serves); Hyena was peppered with splatters of his genius (including his editorial skills, forging one of the unsung adventurous humor zines of the '90s). But both of those projects left Mark unsatisfied, plagued as they were from the root by the tension and demands of the Tundra years (Mark was also art director and frequent 'straw boss' -- Tundra-speak for editor -- of too many troubled projects, including my own). Still, Mark remained productive and prolific, but the steady mini-fix in Nickelodeon magazine and occasional surprises like his Spongebob Squarepants work weren't pure, unadulterated Martin mania -- the pure stuff 20 Nude Dancers 20 always jolted the system with.
I'm most eager and hopeful about Runaway Comics because it's the most excited I've seen Mark about his own work in years, and that's a stellar sign. As with all media I seek out, I've avoided reading anything from or about Mark's latest, though he's been dropping some tantalizing tidbits over the past few months, morsels I've immediately melted down and mainlined in anticipation of the Big Fix -- the first issue of Runaway!
I'll rhapsodize over the richness that was 20 Nude Dancers 20 and Lillian Spencer Drake another day -- in the meantime, the focus is fixed upon the upcoming Runaway (cue song: "My run-run-run-run-runaway --"). So I urge you, immediately, to either click on over to
Town Meeting here in Marlboro was quite a day -- a couple of truly contentious issues split the town, one quite literally (a standing count of the vote revealed a mere three vote difference). I won't go into the details here, as it most likely won't matter a hill of beans to any of you. But I'm now on two town committees -- one investigating getting high-speed broadband internet access here in Marlboro -- and doing my part for my town. That may pop up here, time to time.
While at the meeting, though, I did doodle away on a four-page comic story I'm doing for my son Dan's upcoming mini-zine. Many of the women in the room were cross-stitching and needle-pointing, I was drawing. It's all the same constructive meditative state, I reckon. Working title: "Kafka's Kaiju". Got two pages done amid the hubbub of the day, and enjoyed it immensely.
So, if you've been hankering for a Bissette comics fix, you'll now have to buy Dan's zine, wontcha?
"The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of he country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
- Abraham Lincoln
We're there, Abe.