Small Press Snapshot #6

From the mind of Tom McHenry comes Platform, a Mario pastiche that questions the systems we have come to trust and the perception of our place in existence.

Here’s the story: a jumping plumber makes his way to the top of a floating platform where three turtles live. The turtles explain to the man that their way of life is far simpler and that just because there is a [lizard] king or princess, doesn’t mean that these turtles need to be under any rule, they are just living their awesome turtle-y lives. It’s bizarre, hilarious, educational, and thought provoking, all with a familiar lens and popping art style/palette. After that main story there are some humorous anthropomorphic slice of life tales as well.

If you’re a fan of political philosophy and mustachioed gaming icons, make sure to give this a read. You can get it here for only a buck! Also, check out the expansive shop he has with fellow creator Sara McHenry.

When last I spoke of Critical Entertainment and creator Christopher Reda we were talking about Space Dragon, a cosmic kaiju adventure, and today’s book Planetary Expansion, two stories drawn by Alonso Molina Gonzales.

The first four issues of this series introduced us to a colorful cast of characters that were about to travel to a new planet far far away for future human colonization, despite the wishes of the government(s). I’m happy to report that the hits keep on coming with issues 5 and 6 as the passengers’ journey finally begins and already we are seeing the culmination of the complex character arcs that we’d been introduced to. Not only that, but there are powerful forces that will do anything to prevent this interstellar caravan. Alonso’s art once again provides us with some excellent character models and a color scheme that makes the characters pop and the ship feel endless but confining.

There’s action! There’s drama! It looks great! You should see for yourself. You can buy the series here. Also, keep an eye out for their series Zombie Zero, it’s making moves at this year’s SDCC.

In 2015, writer Christopher Sebela created a Kickstarter to go on a journey into America heartland, specifically the nightmarish Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada for a month. This resulted in some peculiar experiences and interesting introspection chronicled in I Lived In A Clown Motel.

In this book (more of a zine really) you can hear all about the biker gangs, townies and of COURSE clowns that visited the Clown Motel in the month Chris was there. Between the one bar, shanty town, and and adjacent coal miner graveyard he had his hands full, and boy howdy is it fun to experience. There are some pictures of the local sights, but just enough to keep the imagination going.

This book really is a curiosity worthy of the lodgings Chris utilized. It’s hilarious and intriguing, compelling you to see just how deep a man is willing to go… for a well backed crowd funding campaign. He promised to go in 100% and he sure as shit did. I had a blast with I Lived In A Clown Motel, you can as well here. I got mine in print and was terrified to find a scrap of clown costume in the middle… I may be cursed now.

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