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‘30 Miles of Crazy!:’ TPB Review

Throughout the past several years, comic book writer/artist Karl Christian Krumpholz has served as an historian of sorts for the residents of Denver, CO.  Originally from the East Coast (by way of Boston and Philadelphia), Krumpholz spent countless hours in Colorado collecting stories from the residents and regulars of Colfax Avenue, a 30-mile stretch of road marked by poverty and depravity in the form of dive bars, adult book stores, and boarded-up street corners.  Having amassed a myriad of odd anecdotes, bizarre experiences, and inexplicable occurrences from the interesting characters that he met along the way, Krumpholz began posting slice-of-life comic strips each week to form the web comic, 30 Miles of Crazy!.  With over 100 comic strips having been posted, 30 Miles of Crazy! is now available in print form by way of two trade paperbacks (with a third in production), each providing an intriguing snapshot into the day-to-day activities of Colorado’s Colfax Avenue.

The format of 30 Miles of Crazy! easily engages readers, as each page features a 6-panel story documenting Krumpholz’s experiences with the curious characters of Colfax Avenue.  Often set in a dive bar with various tales of drunkenness or drunkards, 30 Miles allows readers to share the author’s outsider perspective on the daily lives of individuals who have never know more than their lot in life on Colfax Avenue.  While there is a sense of comfortable repetition in the overall framework of the series (given the repeated locales and cast of players), the stories shared never grow tiresome, as each new tale seems more bizarre than the last.  In addition, the story is peppered with Krumpholz’s historical commentary on Colfax Avenue and Denver itself, as well as with his own experiences in traveling to conventions as a comic book vendor and visiting his family back east for more personal moments.

Krumpholz is to be commended for successfully and admirably shouldering both the writing and artistic duties of the series.  His black-and-white artwork remains simple and straightforward which complements the stark and honest stories relayed to the reader.  Reading through the comic strips collected in the first two trade paperbacks, Krumpholz’s artwork smoothly advances and becomes more intricate; it is always fascinating and enjoyable to watch an artist transform over the course of his/her career. 

Overall, 30 Miles of Crazy! is everything that its title promises.  For those who enjoy slice-of-lice web comics about the seedier parts of life (with a bit of historical significance mixed in), I highly recommend giving this series a try!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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