Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #36 - August 1998
| Top Shelf Productions
| Pete Sickman-Garner
| Pete Sickman-Garner
|$4.95 for the GN,
$2.50 for the issues
|2 + GN
The bizarre, downbeat, and dirty adventures of a strange trio
of characters. First is "Mister", a grizzled man of indeterminate
age with a bleak outlook on life who works at one menial job
after another. Next is Aunt Mary, a woman with an even bleaker
outlook on life who consequently is also continually leaving jobs.
Finally, there's Young Tim, an enigmatic young boy (?) who
thinks he's a dog - or does he? Usually peppy and upbeat, or
sometimes cheerily suicidal, Tim provides the counterbalance to
Mister and Mary's continuous stream of dour observations.
Sharp, bleak, dark, and sometimes downright gross, Hey Mister
hits you like a splash of vinegar in the eyes. Presented as a
series of short stories or vignettes, sometimes interweaving,
sometimes not, HM weaves drunkenly from bizarre wish-fulfillment
to chillingly baroque childhood memories and back to the
empty landscape of a daily grind in the retail world.
A weird-looking guy takes a job for a day as a taxi driver and
ends up working for barter; a young boy is told his dead hamster
is only "hibernating"; the gang meet at a bar to revel in an
enemy's misfortune; two kids return from vacation to find their
friend has turned into a blobby street bum. Bizarre storylines that
still grab you and make you read to the end.
The trade paperback collects the run of Hey Mister minicomics
Sickman-Garner produced on his own, and the material sometimes
looks it, having been expanded or shrunk to fit the format.
The art in the more recent individual comics holds up better,
being more consistent and polished throughout, with a steady
look and interesting panel layout.
Overall, Pete's art comes off as usually well-paced and
expressive, though occasionally somewhat cluttered. His lines are
clean and steady, though sometimes seem a bit too thin for the
reproduction in a comic, and characters and backgrounds are well
Mixing the oddball yet realistic characters of Eightball with
the essentially tedious lives of Clerks, Hey Mister should sell to
fans of both camps. The "short story anthology with continuing
characters" format should appeal to readers of Naughty Bits, and
the sometimes surreal and existential humor may tickle readers of
Dirty Plotte, Palookaville, and even Too Much Coffee Man.
One warning: Hey, Mister is definitely not for young ones.
With occasional nudity and frequent references to sex and other
adult topics, it's a title for mature readers only.
If you like Hey Mister, take a look at:
Cold Cut Distribution
220 N Main St. - Salinas, CA 93901 - (831) 751-7300