‘Stuck in the Gutter #1:’ Comic Book Review

A place for voices to be heard.

This may be a bit meta, but I’m a guy who writes about comic books going to talk about a publication of folks who . . . write about comic books.  There are also a slew of comic strips and shorts included, so at least something’s familiar to me.  I have to say, this is a very ambitious project and if every issue is as strong as this one, it may become a very cool platform for creators and those that hope to engage and shape the medium.  There are some fantastic contributors hitting on interesting topics that comic readers can really be intrigued by.  Whether they come to the hobby through the artwork or the stories, there’s definitely something for everyone who enjoys comics.

Leo Johnson has a very humble and self-depreciating style in his open to the issue.  This is being sold as a labor of love, and it certainly seems like it.  There’s a clean, well-edited composition to the whole issue that makes everything seem slick and professional.  There are some very interesting breakdowns and looks into material all over the comics spectrum, from the Big Two to independent artists.  Not all of it is bright and rosy either.  There’s a really interesting piece by Alex Mansfield that critically examines the rehashing of millennial nostalgia to sell books instead of finding new ideas and forging new trends and storylines.

Throughout the articles and think pieces are the comic shorts and strips that range in intent and content.  Some are single-page, quick panel jokes, and others are more in depth and come with a decided message.  Each is interesting and fun in its own way and breaks up the prose-heavy content.  There’s a wide variety to the pieces, and you’ll be sure to find something you like within the range of styles and tastes.

If you want a fun look at the comics industry from an inside perspective, then you should check out Stuck in the Gutters.  There’s no condescension of elitist paradigms weighing down the content with judgment or disdain.  It’s all open discussion that, even when critical, remembers that the reason we’re all here, what brings creators and audience together, is the love of the stories that only this medium can give us.  Check it out!  It’s an educational and fun read.


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