Cold Cut Distribution's Feature Spotlight #36 - August 1998

Hey, Mister

Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Writer: Pete Sickman-Garner
Artists: Pete Sickman-Garner
Cover Price:$4.95 for the GN,
$2.50 for the issues
Issues Available: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.

Writing Review:

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.

Art Review:

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 done throughout.


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:

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