From: IM
To: J.
Subject: Tripping Balls

I’m tripping out this week Jose!

Just kidding, sort of… I picked up several books this week and all of them seem to have something in common. They all do their best to blow my mind with some seriously twisted takes on comic book reality. Sure comics in general make you suspend your disbelief, but many of the comics I read this time around take it to another level =)

*Old News, But Good News!

Chew #1 – I am a huge fan of Chew and what John Layman and Rob Guillory have been doing on this series but I never got the chance to pick up the first issue after all of this time. Now that I think about it, if I was as big a fan of the series as I say I am, I would have made the effort to pick up the first issue or buy the trade by now. Man, I am full of shit sometimes =) Well, Image saved me from being exposed as a Chew fan poser by offering the first issue this week for a dollar!

I was surprised at how strong the first issue was, I was also surprised at how serious John Layman plays the first book, a lot of humor that shows up in later issue is absent here. That is not necessarily a bad thing, the strange thing about the way Layman writes Chew is he can play it both ways, serious or silly. Despite the rather silly premise of the book, the writing seems to work on several different levels. This allows Layman to flip the switch anytime he wants to fuck with the heads of the readers. I really like the level of controlled chaos that Chew brings to the table.

Tripping Balls Meter ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ bong hits out of five!

*The New Stuff!

Turf #1 (of Five) – A new mini series by Johnathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards. Probably the densest book I bought this week. More word balloons and information boxes than you can shake a Thai Stick at. But when you have a story that includes rival mob gangs, vampires and outlaw aliens from another solar system fighting it out in 1920’s New York City, you have a lot of explaining to do! Jonathan Ross is writing an ambitious, epic story here and he only has five issues to do it. Unfortunately this isn’t a story to read while chemically imbalanced, so while I enjoyed this story and the art by Tommy Lee Edwards I cannot recommend this story to my more “enlighten” friends out there.

Tripping Balls Meter ~ bong hits out of five!

SHIELD #1 – Hey! Did you know that Shield been around since ancient Egypt, when Imhotep was bashing in the face of a Brood queen with his super duper golden shield or when some Chinese guy builds a giant Pagoda so he can talk turkey with a Celestial. I won’t even bring up Galileo and his tricked out telescope that is used to take out Galactus(I think). Jonathan Hickman is doing what he does best, writing a shit load of techo-babble while weaving it into a compelling story. He is creating a wildly inventive story of the history of SHIELD that appears to take place outside of the 616 world. Dustin Weaver’s art is perfect for this story and he really brings to life the story Hickman is writing. About the time when Leonardo Da Vinci fly’s in from outer space hold a glowing orb of hope you will be begging for another hit or hot boxing in confusion.

Tripping Balls Meter ~ ~ ~ ~ bong hits of of five!

Spider-Man: Fever #1 (of Three)

Marvel: So what have got for us Brendan?

Brendan McCarthy: OK, man, check this out! It a story about Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and demon spiders from another dimension that want to eat Spider-Man’s soul!

Marvel: Sounds good, can you elaborate?

Brendan: Hum, that’s it..did I mention the Vulture is in it?

Marvel: So he plays a part in the story?

Brendan: Yeah, he totally sprays Spider-Man with bug spray!

Marvel: What?

Brendan: Huh?

Marvel: So how is Dr. Strange involved in the story?

Brendan: Well, it’s sort of all his fault, he reading this book and then the book does all this crazy shit. Anyway, Spider-Man ends up in Dr. Strange’s bath tub.

Marvel: What?

Brendan: Huh?

Marvel: Never mind, so who do you have in mind to do the art?

Brendan: Dude, it’s already done.. drew it all myself, check it out!

Marvel: Is that demon spider wearing a top hat?

Brendan: Yup! ((giggle))

Marvel: Wait, is that two talking dogs eating a happy meal?

Brendan: Hell yeah!

Marvel: How long is this suppose to be?

Brendan: Three issues is what the spider in my tub told me…

Marvel: Fuck it, send us what you got!

Brendan: Groovy!

Tripping Balls Meter ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ bong hits out of five!

Electric Ant #1 (of 5) – This mini is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick… who, in case you didn’t know, is the terrific Sci-Fi author who wrote the stories that the movies Blade Runner and A Scanner Darkly are based on, so the guy know his mind bending science fiction. Mr. Garson Poole is a successful businessman who finds himself in an accident that leaves him in the hospital. There he finds that he is actually an Electricants or ‘Electric Ant’, an artificial being that looks and acts just like a normal human. Garon’s problem is he has no idea what his purpose is or who made him. Like many of Dick’s stories he is exploring the meaning and purpose of life using artificial life as a blank slate to explore his ideas. I never got the chance to read this story before hand, so I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Tripping Balls Meter ~ ~ ~ ~ bong hits out of five!

Bonus Movie Review!

Kikareta onna no mirareta yoru or Man, Woman & The Wall

A very odd movie from Japan. A young man moves into a new apartment and find that the walls are very thin, he can hear everything that is going on in the apartment next door that is occupied by a lovey young lady. He does what any horny, young man would do in his position and begins to stalk her. If that isn’t strange enough, he quickly realizes that she is being stalked by another man, so it so becomes battle of the stalkers! Who will come out on top, and will the poor woman in the middle of all this craziness care? This movie treads a fine line between dark comedy and some really disturbing shit. In the end I found it pretty entertaining and worth a look. Be warned, there is a few explicit sex scenes and more male masturbation than I think I have ever witnessed in any American movie. The final shot of the movie made me laugh, only because it shows the Japanese fascination with pubes =)

You can see this movie on Netflix instant view if you want.

Until next time,


  1. Deemar says:

    Pretty much think the same thing musky SHIELD I think it might be Hickmans’ definative marvel story

    • IronMuskrat says:

      If the book maintains the same level of quality storytelling in upcoming issues I have to agree. It might even end up being better than what he is doing on Fantastic Four right now.


      • Deemar says:

        Musky your banner is on the way, Littlekingryan is coloring it and as soon as he’s done I’ll send it to Elliot

  2. AvS says:

    Jerk: Hey, can you stop with the computer for a second?

    Me: Shut the fuck up. I’m reading IronMuskrat’s Spider-Man: Fever #1 review and it. Is. Awesome!

  3. phil says:

    So is Brendan drawing the story as well?

    • IronMuskrat says:

      Brendan McCarthy is credited with both the story and art, with Steve Cook helping on the colors, digital FX & letters.

      I really enjoyed McCarthy’s artwork here, the way he switches between drawing a fairly standard looking comic in scenes with Spidey and Dr. Strange in the normal world and going full psychedelic, acid trip when in the Spider Abyss was very cool and different.


  4. phil says:

    So I went to my L C B S today and I picked up that Spider-man comic, thumbed thru a few pages, then promptly put it back. Now it may read like Morrison on ludes or ‘shrooms or something, which may be a good thing, but I could not get past the drawing. The Brendan that I remember had a nuanced eclectisism to his work, but this was like Charles Vess on an acid trip, so I had to pass on it. Electric Ant….I wasn’t feelin’ the current

    I did purchase Chew for a buck. While I can’t knock it, It is definitely something I’d be more Inclined to check out as a t. v. show, than a comic

    Damn it to L, I forgot about Turf and Shield and especially Shield…I really wanted to check that out……Note 2 self: Always make list

    Always good to peep your insights, I.M.

    • IronMuskrat says:

      Thanks Phil!

      If I had to recommended one book out of all of the ones I read this week, It would have been SHIELD. I enjoyed all of the books I read this week, but yeah, the Spider-Man and Electric Ant books are not for everyone’s taste. Let just say I was in the right “state” of mind when I reading them =)

      • Locusmortis says:

        Spider-Man: Fever was one of my preview picks from 2 months ago (as was Shield),

        “This is a Spider-Man/Doctor Strange team up written, pencilled and inked by Brendan McCarthy. That had me sold right there. Now 99% of you have just gone “Who?” but take it from me, Brendan McCarthy is a excellent artist. He is one of the great Judge Dredd artists from 2000AD who later moved into TV and movie concept work. His last American work was a great issue of the late lamented Solo series from DC.

        In this series Spider-Man is kidnapped by spider demons from another dimension and Doc Strange voyages on a quest to save him. This series will be NICE but even if you don’t buy it definitely put it on your trade wait list. “

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