The cover of Exercise The Demon by Greg Kletsel, 2014. A delightful three-color Risograph booklet that compares and contrasts the worlds of two of the most irrepressible and annoying people with the last name Simmons: Richard and Gene. I met Greg and learned of his extremely funny and smart work at this year’s CAKE expo in Chicago. See more on his website.
Here we have ‘Diana’ by Ron Rege, jr, which is an adaptation of the Wonder Woman origin stories by William Moulton Marston and HG Peter. Turns out the guy who came up with Wonder Woman also invented the lie detector, imagine that! Anyhoo, this book is a great turn from Ron and is some classic Ron Rege, jr, minicomix storytellin. I remember coming across his stuff for the first time waaay back in the days of Duplex Planet and Dennis Eichhorns Real Stuff and man did that guy’s artwork sing and stand out amongst the rest. I remember reading in interviews much later on that he developed his style completely in deference to mini comics, self publishing, and xerox machines. He was self publishing his own minis and, at the time, xerox machines and printers weren’t exactly the best so he came up with his very thin and clean line style that pretty much didn’t use blacks or gray at all. End result is a style that is completely Ron Rege, jr.
Ron’s work has always been pretty spiritual, magical, and psychedelic; which sometimes loses me in its endless positivity and celebration of the universe and all that’s in it, but there is no better match up for Ron’s idioms and Wonder Woman. After reading this book I realize I’d love to see him tackle other mythology, golden age or otherwise. I haven’t enjoyed a Rege book this much since Skibber Bee Bye.
He’s always been a versatile talent, producing art and music and action figures, and now he seems to be back at self publishing minis again with a great webstore where you can get all sorts of great mini comics and original art and other stuff. This guy has been at it for a long ass time and kudos to him for making the world a happier place for it.
I mean, lookit those drawings!!! At first glance it looks like a bit of a mess, maybe a little too busy, something I’m a little afraid to approach, but once I sit down and start reading I find that I’m drawn right in and that everything flows naturally. This is a guy who is a master of comix storytelling and is completely without peer. Anyone who would dare imitate him I’m sure is well aware of how pitifully obvious and pointless it would be and has probably gone off to make pancake art or something instead. What the fuck is up with those guys doing youtube videos where they make all that strange pancake art? Why the fuck are people making shit with pancakes???