Toenail Clippings #1 & 2

Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2002
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Toenail Clippings #1 & 2 Creator(s): Lots
Publishers: Big If
From: Ireland
Price: 3.75 (Euro), $3.50

There's a big load of off the wall comic creations to be seen in the pages of this Irish anthology. It has a definite adult tone to it, with the occasional "adult situation" and use of strong language, but have no fear, nothing here is really that rude.

My favourite strip had to be Skateboard Air-Disaster Know HowKick the Cat strip. Sometimes the simplest jokes are the funniest.

The continuing serial Dragon Face and Devil Doll presents us with some thought provoking situations as a young leather clad and stud encrusted couple deal with the tough issues of modern urban life. Dragon Face has to admit to his insecurity around gay guys, and the dysfunctional state of his relationship with his younger brother. The artwork presents us with a cool hip/grunge look and believable city streets.

Love in the 31st Century examines the sexual relationships and dysfunctions of robots in a light-hearted manner that barely hides a dark and serious observation of the foibles and depressing state of people who want but can get the perfect sex life. Another story that makes and impression is Comedown #2, a gritty tale of loneliness and angst consisting of text from e-mails sent to the narrator, and the grim visage of a high-rise tenement block that is the stage for a tragically inevitable discovery.

Some of the contributions are less that successful. Mansons Creek, in which a bunch of poo's act out scenes from teenage TV soap operas is a hilarious joke the first time you read a strip, the next few times just seem weak.

If you yearn for thoughtful anthologies that mix humour and more serious content this is one well worth tracking down for your "to Read" pile. It does a fine job of representing the pride of Irish small press comics to the rest of the world.

In a Word: Variety.

If you have a comment or question about Small Press then feel free to contact me