Writers/Artists: Philip Can & Joe Dunn, (guest-starring Kevin Gleason & Zack Gardner)
Publisher: Digital Pimp Comics
The title is an homage to Tales From the Crypt mixed with a reference to The Matrix. I think “Digital Pimp” was that annoying kid who made up the Lady in Red.
Tales From the Pimp is an anthology series from Philip Can and Joe Dunn. They also do webstrips at their Digital Pimp Comics site. I’m impressed by their sheer output. In addition to this series, they work together on a weekly strip called “Matriculated.” Dunn also does “Free Lunch” every week and the irregular “Joe Loves Crappy Movies.” There’s also “Fish Tank Tango," by Irvsher Fabor and other comics in the works. So they have a lot to offer right off the bat. That’s a big plus for indy comics creators.
The stories in Tales From the Pimp range from the funny to the serious. Two prisoners talk about where they want to go. Five friends try to pick a movie. A woman struggles with the emptiness of a departed loved one. Phil Chan relates a funny story about college and colds. A guy agonizes over the decision to call a girl. And in a continuing feature, a female officer in space is forced to choose who to shoot.
Joe Dunn displays great versatility with his art. “(W)hole” is a dark, moody tale told almost entirely without words. Great use of shading in that one. “Mary Ellen in Outer Space” is like a looser, more sweeping version of Jim Mahfood. It’s hard to believe they’re drawn by the same person. Chan does most of the writing. His dialogue in “At the Movies” (starring the cast of “Matriculated”) is as natural and funny as an episode of Seinfeld. By contrast, “Where Would You Go?” has a rhythm similar to Brian Bendis’ writing with more efficiency.
I almost regret saying that the best story wasn’t by Dunn or Chan. “Lament”, by Kevin Gleason and Zack Gardner, is a sad, honest story about a relationship ending over religious differences. It’s quiet, honest, and human. The art is simple, complementing the despair and optimism of the conversation. You can see more at their websites: Cross Roads Comics and Zack Gardner. As good as Chan & Dunn are, these guys a little bit better.
Tales From the Pimp is funny, heartbreaking, and just plain odd. Dunn and Chan provide enough varied and unique material to keep you entertained for the entire comic. If you’re too cheap to buy this, click the banner ads on their website. These guys should be encouraged to keep working.
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