It took me awhile to figure out why I didn’t read this the instant it was thrown into my sweaty palms. There was something wrong. Something VERY wrong. Paper Rad is known for their high output of awesome shit. You can’t blink without some new awesome Paper Rad thing magically appearing before your face. Don’t get me wrong this is yet another sweet book by the mighty, mighty PR…but it has a nice glossy cover and the inside pages are printed on newsprint. Now, I like glossy & I like newsprint, but for Christ’s sake don’t combine the two! Okay, enough of my aesthetic snobbery. Half of this book is a reprint of the beautifully produced zine Pig Tales. That came with a silk-screened cover with a jewel glued to it; of course I’m going to be disappointed by a new version. Jessica Ciocci wins the funniest comic panel of the year award for…Wait. Comic panels don’t make sense if you don’t know what the previous panel was, so the runner up for the funniest comic panel of the year… “Blonde haired piggy lady reaches into bookshelf”! And now! The award for “funniest comic panel of the year” goes to DJ Jazzy Jess for… “piggy holding book entitled “HOW TO Draw MANGA Dicks”!!!
Okay now for the other half of the book, the third installment of Ben Jones’ Cartoon Workshop. Again with the color newsprint…I would have preferred to read this on black and white zerox paper, or color zerox paper, or black and white newsprint. Come to think of it…there’s nothing wrong with the pages at all. It’s the glossy cover I hate!!! I’m going to tear it off right now! Now I’m tearing up that damn oversized UPC symbol! Ben probably thought it would be funny to make it extra big, knowing that everyone would hate it. His graphic design has a sadistic side to it. So do his comics. There are a total of 25 completely blank panels in Cartoon Workshop. What’s is this “The Wisdom of Lobo”?!? Okay BJ is a comic genius so he’s allowed to take liberties. “Lazy Comet” is a brilliant strip. Pages 34 (“How Low can You Go?”) & 35 (Twig & Twag) are awesome as well. They remind me of the comics that R. Crumb made with his brother Charles when they were kids. In “How Low can You Go?” The Narrator (my favorite BJ character) hits us with another classic line: “What?!? You’ve never ass-bonged?” I’ll stop comic snitching now. Just go buy the book already.