(Jamie Vayda / Sal Canzonieri / Eric Todd / Darin Martinez / Christian Maes / Erikca Lane / Alan King)
The last time I reviewed Loud Comix I mentioned that this anthology series contained stories in which “Each tale cradles a misfit who stands outside the norm wailing their own particular song into a night filled with the smell of moonshine and the hiss-rattle of the cicada as the kudzu threatens to envelop everything.”
This time around, not so much. Sure a collection begins with Darin Martinez's “Rest Stop of The Dead” in which peeing in a radioactive toilet makes a stoner a zombie, but after that, things just aren't as tight. Loud Comix may still be screaming, but occasionally it's spitting gibberish.
This collection still features some of the South's Punk Rock luminaries. Birdcage Bottom Books runs this solicitation:This issue Jamie Vayda illustrates stories from Sal Canzonieri (Electric Frankenstein), Eric Todd (Stand-up comedian, EricToddCast, Rancid Vat, Party Wreckers), Darin Martinez (Stand-up Comedian, EricToddCast), Christian Maes (Captain Catastrophy, Belgium Television writer) and of course Erika Lane (The Stovebolts, Early Graves), Alan King (Hellstomper, Polecat Boogie Revival) and to top it all off the cover of issue was designed by Magnus Sellergren (Sellergren Design – Art is the Enemy)
Erika Lane's “Lester the Porn Fairy” is a highlight, although its tone seems out of place for this collection. Still, Lane does a great job of explaining the angst of the porn fairy – you know, the one responsible for leaving all that porn in the woods. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky may want to hook up with Lane for a back story piece in Sex Criminals (just saying). Vayda's art is pretty damn perfect for this one.
After the first two stories, though, Volume 2 of Loud Comix kinda falls apart as it loses its focus. There's a shift from tales of backwoods grotesques to … well … I'm not sure exactly what. Even the conclusion to Alan King's “Wooden Leg” story has lost a bit of the shine that part one had.
Maybe I'm a different man than I was when I read Loud Comix Volume1. Maybe I just want more cicadas in my soundtrack and moonshine in my tears. Maybe I want my misfits more fitting. Just something about this threw me off.
Vayda is still killing it though. His art shows even more maturity, attention to detail, and revelry in the whatever weird he can squeeze from these stories. I dream of Vayda taking on something like As I Lay Dying or Wise Blood – something with heft, weird and powerful Southern heft. But I'll take what I can, so I'll take Loud Comix 2. I'll take Volume 3 too.