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‘Coin-Op Comics Anthology: 1997-2017’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by Peter and Marie Hoey
Published by Top Shelf Comics
Released 5/23/18 / $29.99


I love Top Shelf Comics. They are the publisher I consistently buy comics from at the San Diego Comic Con.

They always produce unique stories. This book is one of the strangest I have read from them.

Yet, I couldn’t put it down.

This was originally published in floppy comic format. All of the issues are collected here but in reverse order. There are more than twenty individual stories here all having to do with music and film.

The only two characters that appear from time to time are Saltz and Pepz. The tales themselves range from abstract to completely abstract. I’m not sure I understand even half of what was going on but I was completely engrossed throughout.

You don’t really read this comic: You experience it. It very much feels like the illegitimate child of Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware. There’s a story with Saltz and Pepz on a railway car where they talk about VHS and Betamax and how it correlates to their surroundings and life that I enjoyed very much.

The rest of the book goes on some interesting distractions. We get to see some classic movie scenarios done in some interesting new twists. The best of these is the spin on Rear Window. It pays respect to the original film yet goes down some crazy new paths.

There seems to be be an overall story but I’ll be damned if I know what it is. But maybe that’s the point. Either way, a little more of a connecting thread would have been helpful rather than recurring characters that are talking about videotapes.

Still, it’s quite an experience and I’m glad I read this. It’s a book that made me think for a long time and I’ll revisit to see if I can figure more of it out.



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