(Fantagraphics) GUEST REVIEW by Robert Dayton
Ever wonder what happened to all those 90s alt cartoonists? Where did they go? A load of em are in issue 3 of Hotwire Comics, a graphic novel compilation edited by Glenn Head. Have comics improved since the 90s? Or do many of these cartoonists just not seem quite as good as I remember them in my naïve youth? The old ‘revisionism for shock value’-tropes of clowns, hillbillys, and hobos abound in this issue of Hot Wire Comics. There seems to be a lot of aiming for seedy yuks. Lemme dig back through my comic boxes. Ahh. Ya know, some-some, not all- of the artists included here really have a very impressive body of work. What they delver here is slight, even the great and mighty Rick Altergott falls flat with his story of clown lust (tho the art is top drawer as always). The odd tarnished gem peeks through: it’s great to see Mary Fleener’s work again with her autobiographical tale of gun purchasing and Matso ‘s zip-a-tone coloured full-page panels of fanged psychosexuality have a cartoony, nasty sheen that’s a right pleasure to look at.