Flashback Friday: Gene Gene's Comics Machine #1, August 1997
We begin with the first (and only) issue of Gene Gene's Comics Machine, which I published twelve years ago this month. The story behind the comic is recounted in the first two pages, so I thought I'd instead reprint a couple of excerpts from Tom "The Comics Reporter" Spurgeon's review of the book, from his old "You Send It, We'll Review It" column for TCJ.com:
This is a good comic of the type by people who have no business doing comics. Gene Kannenberg is a writer about comics, an academic who studies comics, but sadly, he's no cartoonist.Guilty as charged, on all counts. (If there ever had been a second issue, I was going to use this blurb on the cover: "Sadly, He's No Cartoonist. ") The review isn't entirely negative, though; my old Comics Journal editor ended it as follows:
Kannenberg's comics brings into question how much use one can get out of comics done in this fashion: the answer seems to be a lot, and while Kannenberg fails on all sort of craft levels he doesn't even pretend to engage, his comic is no less amusing or difficult to read than personalized essays in text form would be. Maybe Andy Konky Kru is right and we should all occasionally switch comics for text communication.And with that in mind, ladies & gentlemen, I give you... Gene Gene's Comics Machine.
Or maybe not.