If something occurring two times can be a theme, then the theme of this article is “cool stuff I find while bored at my second job.”
I’m surfing the wild world of Web sites at work (which you still should not tell anyone) and I happen upon an article for Stumptown–a small press expo held every year in Oregon. I come across a familiar face and after delving deeper, my old friend, Neil Brideau. Well, maybe not “old” or “friend” but I did recognize him as the guy who works at Quimby’s books. I had just dropped off some comics for commission there last week! Small world right?!
It’s a fun grab bag of works he’s self-produced over the past 5-6 years. Neil has a couple short stories about monsters and aliens geared toward children, as well as two issues of a sci-fi “gang-fight” comic called Alpha City, written by Kevin Sciretta. However, what really caught my eye was the long-running Web strip, Sock-monster. (www.sock-monster.com)
Topics include pollution, star gazing, and the consumption of cute animals. If my eyes didn’t melt on me I may have finished all 600 strips. It’s okay though, you can pretty much jump in wherever. One criticism I have is that the word balloons take up a lot of space, but the characters do have a lot to say in one panel.
The art seems simplistic, but it’s very befitting of the strip. Detailed enough, but also having memorable characteristics. For example, Capitol Man is a little more loosely drawn then the other characters and this adds to my hatred for him. It has a DIY feel that adds to the charm. Whether you like the style or not, I think you’ll remember these characters and his style.
Since I’m lucky enough to be local, I will be stopping by to pick up Neil’s stuff in the coming weeks at Quimby’s (1854 W. North Ave., Chicago). But if you’re not so fortunate, you can order it online here!