Off the Racks: Is that a Sock Monster in your Pocket…?

Sock-monster web comics

Neil Brideau's Sock-monster

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?!

So, lets see what my old buddy Neil is hawking these days.

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)

The brief synopsis is that Sock-Monster is a sock-monster. He lives in a weird world with Dr. Seuss-esque life forms and creatures. It is a one-panel humor strip about the cute little guy trying to make sense of it all.  SM has a whole gang of “friends” around him, most of which put him down and belittle his lovable ideals.  The characters are pretty defined in their personalities and this is what sells the strip.  Every time I saw Capitol Man, I knew I was going to be angry at the mean things he said to my boy Sock-monster. Skig is SM’s closest friend but he’s also kind of a jerk. Come to think of it, basically everyone is a jerk and Sock-monster should kill them all because he’s the best, but he’s just to darn nice for that.  For the most part, it’s a light-hearted strip with some clever jabs at humanity.

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!

Jon does a weekly Web comic here on Osmosis called Apocalypse Meh, has a band called Anti-Hero (www.myspace.com/antihero815), acts like an idiot for Fight Fire with Aurthur Films, and frequently posts at www.11oclockcomics.com. He’s really a big dumb animal folks.

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4 comments for “Off the Racks: Is that a Sock Monster in your Pocket…?

  1. July 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I like this and I’m so not a comic guy. I like the medium of comic books but I don’t read them. Cool short stuff like this is perfect for me to have a quick laugh and move on. Trying to break into that world is hard, I give John credit for trying while holding down the 9-5, cause it sure as hell ain’t easy.

  2. Stacy Markley
    July 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

    So if it wasn’t for these posts I probably wouldn’t be into comics at all. I applaud you for your ability to use your free time at work so wisely. Your insight helps bring in those who would normally find this genre boring or childish. I like that you have brought to us a personal background and opened up our eyes to some new variety.

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