I last reviewed issue #4, and now here’s #5, a mere 10 months later! Of course, Michael Kupperman‘s been busy, with the collected volume of issues 1-4 in full color AND the [adult swim] pilot of Snake ‘N’ Bacon. And, besides, he’s still faster than Dan Clowes.
Number five is the “Old People’s Issue”, and the main focus is on the wonderful tales of Twain & Einstein. There’s a prose piece featuring a game show while Einstein has nested flashbacks, a collection of covers from their long-running comic book series, a Mark Twain letters page, a brief glimpse at Twain’s shortlived career as a sexy TV news reporter, and the long piece of Twain and Einstein as hard-boiled private-eyes/Superheroes/Ghosts/Marrieds/Robot-Lady-Kissers. It all makes perfect sense if you’re familiar with Kupperman’s style — which is to say, it doesn’t at all.
In the non-Twain/Einstein bits, there’re more comic covers including that of Real Old-Timey Horror (from back “when terror only cost a nickel!”), Johnny Exposition, and Show Me Your Weiner! There’re also an appearance from Ever-Approaching Grandpa, Shouty Jackson, Hobo Fashions and Ben Franklin, inventor of the Bar Code. Along with other stuff.
I suppose there aren’t any real surprises in #5 — at least outside of Kupperman’s usual techniques of surprise. But it’s not exactly a departure — which is good, because Kupperman’s one of the best funny-book artists out there. His woodcutesque design and art coupled with the dadaism of his writing just clicks in my brain something fierce; I’ll pretty much buy anything with his name on. Which, I don’t know if I should admit, since perhaps some unscrupulous people will start scrawling his name on things that have nothing to do with him but I WILL TAKE MY CHANCES.
Be on the lookout for my upcoming review of Michael Kupperman’s brand new Rotting Pickle Jar With Eggs In!