Phil Hebblethwaite, Editor. Mickey Gibbons, Designer.
The latest issue of The Stool Pigeon, the free music paper with it’s regular comic insert and I have to say I feel all wonderfully smug and young again…. because for the first time since seeing the paper I can genuinely claim to knowing all about one of the artists featured on the cover – and this time it’s not the legacy artist we all know (that would be Debbie Harry this month).
No, this month I not only know who Battles are, I’m an actual fan and have the new album on heavy rotation on the iPod. Now, this may be a small thing to you perhaps, but you’re young and don’t know of the terrible, grinding feeling of having your old age pointed out by a music paper full of acts you’ve never heard of. So I’m a happy camper.
But, what of The Stool Pigeon? Well, beneath the cover, this issue of The Stool Pigeon is full of all the smart writing and intelligent, yet unobtrusive designwe’ve come to expect at this stage. It’s a well written music mag, (mostly) full of artists I’ve never heard of, but with writing that at least interests me, and sometimes grabs me enough to make me take a listen on Spotify, or make a note to keep an eye out for a gig.
But the draw of The Stool Pigeon for us here on the FPI Blog is the cracking comics section, full of some rather classy comics, some music based, others decidedly not.
And in this issue’s comic section we have work from Richard Cowdry (Down Town), Joseph Sumner, Elwick and O’Connell (Charlie Parker “Handyman”), Krent Able (Lou Reed’s New York Mysteries), JC & APK (Hipster Hitler), and Martin Kellerman (Rocky).
New this issue is Joseph Sumner, with his Crayon series, which he describes on his website as: “Crayon is a cartoon strip. Each episode consists of nine frames. The first eight are based around repetition. The ninth is unrelated.” And here’s those first three panels:
Interesting? Artistic? An interesting artistic idea? You’ll not really have any idea, as the whole thing works with the final panel of randomness. Personally I don’t know. I quite like it, for the randomness, and it’s a nice enough page. But just a little filler-y.
However, filler is not something you can accuse Krent Able of, who delivers his usual two pages of delightful venom, this time aimed at Lou Reed…. who married Laurie Anderson in 2008 (something I learned whilst reading this issue). Although somehow I doubt Mr and Mrs Reed would be too happy to view their adventures at the pen of Able…..
JC & APK return with Hipster Hitler. Now Joe recently wrote about the Hipster Hitler strip being removed from Facebook. Joe’s a fan:
“….it consistently cracks me up and it follows in a long tradition (as used by the likes of the late, great Spike Milligan) in using absurd comedy to lampoon and belittle evil (and deliver a laugh along the way too). Personally I love the strip…..”
Me? Not so much. It just leaves me cold I’m afraid. Who’s right, me or Joe….. (cue Harry Hill-esque fight):
One thing Joe and I can agree on however is our shared enjoyment of pretty much everything Elwick and O’Connell do, especially their magnificent Charlie Parker Handyman strip, which is back this issue…. now, is it too much to ask for a collection? This time round Charlie discovers that a haircut from Roy Orbison may not be a great idea:
The Stool Pigeon is still a great music paper, it does so many things right, not the least of which is the fact that it’s completely free – pick one up in any of the Forbidden Planet International shops – young or old, there’s something in there for you…. the music may make me feel old, but the comics are great!