Here are new Library Journal reviews of The Placebo Man and Meathaus 8 from the Library Journal’s Website.
Hanuka, Tomer. The Placebo Man. Alternative Comics. 2006. 108p. ISBN 1-891867-91-1. pap. $14.95. F
This anthology collects a series of mysterious and fragmented stories; fragile characters wander through landscapes both real and imaginary, past and present in this intriguing read. Hanuka communicates a profound sense of isolation as his characters seek connection and meaning in their lives, but he leaves plenty of room for the reader to flesh out the stories. The most direct narrative, “Elephant Graveyard,” features former movie star Johnny Weissmuller as an irascible care home resident looking back on his life from boyhood to his Hollywood career, remembering the uncertainties and indignities that plagued him, even when his life was at its peak. The black-and-white artwork is intense and expressive despite its often delicate line, conveying both character and action. This collection is a good choice for those who want a thoughtful read—and are not easily depressed. With nudity, coarse language, occasional violence, and a somewhat jaded perspective, this is most suitable for mature readers, ages 18+.—Julia Cox, Penticton P.L., B.C.
Meathaus Volume 8: Head Games. Alternative Comics. 2006. 256p. ISBN 1-891867-92-X [ISBN 978-1-891867-92-7]. pap. $14.95. ANTHOL
Meathaüs, a collective originally formed by students from New York City’s School of Visual Arts in 2000, now includes contributors from all over the world. Its eighth volume expertly balances polished production values with the independent media D.I.Y. feel, featuring stories loosely tied around the theme of “Headgames,” interpreted in a somewhat roundabout way as the realization that every moment of our existence is part of the game of life. From this seed comes a wild diversity of stories and vignettes showcasing everything from the role of hallucinogens in human evolution, to the collection of brains at a bus stop, to stories made up entirely of two pages of stunning artwork. The collection’s real strength lies in its variety of graphics and storytelling. While each tale’s content and slant differ widely, there is a palpable energy and deeply personal feel—one of the key strengths of alternative press publications. The diverse visual styles surprise and captivate, as the black-and-white illustrations pulse with the same raw energy and sense of fun as the writing. Nudity and some violence make this an acquisition for adult collections; particularly recommended for libraries where there is established interest in alternative press titles.—David Ward, Univ. of Illinois Undergraduate Lib., Urbana