FIB Chronicle

FIB Chronicle was created by writer and artist Nemo Balkanski of Vancouver, BC and formerly of Blegrade, Serbia. It was published by Vancouver based and recently launched multi-media publisher, The Publishing Eye, whose mission is to produce “visual culture for the conscious mind”.

This is certainly evident in FIB Chronicle which is a collection of comics featuring thinly veiled spoofs and criticisms of political and socially recognizable figures as well as the failings of society itself. Each comic features a distinctive character and is usually no longer than two or three pages. By the end of the book there is a large collection of heroes and anti-heroes. Mostly anti-heroes.

Although many adult comics have been described as gritty, Nemo’s writing style definitely creates a real friction. The yellow tape across the front cover repeats “This is not for children” and for good reason. Many of his most villainous characters are made up of distinctly human characteristics causing them to be all the more loathsome. The comics, meant to expose and to educate, incite feelings of sadness, irrationality, fear and dark humour that are common within the human psyche, and are therefore more effective in creating the dark and shocking tone Nemo is aiming for. For example, a man graciously holds the elevator for a woman with groceries. When they are inside he pulls out a knife an tells her about his unstable behaviour.

Despite the hard stories within the comics, it is hard not to be impressed by the breathtaking artwork which is mostly done in ink and water colour. Balkanski’s stylistic creativity is showcased throughout the book and his compositions complement his stories fantastically.

The book is also produced with very a high production quality which adds to the glamour but contributes to the shock of the offensive but excellent stories within. To get a sampling of the book, check out this trailer. But be careful, child or not, these stories will turn your head.

All Canadian Beaver Comix

I like her bed…

Lewd, vulgar and hilarious. This is one of the best comics that I think has ever come out of Canada. Published in 1973, All Canadian Beaver Comix is the product of Canadian underground comix geniuses Brent Boates, Rand Holmes and Falcioni. The comic book is a collection of their work that was originally published by the controversially left newspaper the Georgia Straight, in Vancouver, BC and was distributed in both the US and Canada. The paper is also the publisher of this comic as well as comics by other artists and more of Holmes’ work.

Along with its already bawdy nature, one of the more notable comics in the book is Holmes’ humourous criticism of the controversial excerpts on homosexuality from the book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Too Afraid to Ask). The progressive comic aggressively uses both comedy and satire to break down barriers about sexuality while also just being very comfortable with the topic.

The contents are:

  • Hold Hard (Inside Cover intro) features character Emmanual Cunt by Falcioni
  • Vito Yaruntski in The Fatal Orgasm by Brent Boates
  • “Now How Did That Grab Ya” filler by Falcioni
  • Harold Hedd’s Bike Song* *As sung to the tune of theā€¦”Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Rand Holmes
  • Introducing Quantum Quackster in “Quantum Pulls a Fast One!” by Falcioni
  • The Origins of Beaverman by Brent Boates
  • The Continuing Adventures of Harold Hedd by Rand Holmes
  • Kuolu Kala by Tapani Knuutila
  • Buckets of Saliva by Brent Boates
  • Beaver Comix add (Back cover).

Sadly the comic only lasted one issue, perhaps as just a stand alone collection. For further reading of Holmes’ work see the book The Artist Himself: A Rand Holmes Retrospective which includes both biographical information and some reprinted comics.