Tag Archives: karl christian krumpholz

Review: One Minute to Wonderland

One Minute to Wonderland

The immortal Eddie Money was one of those singers whose voice was emblematic of a time and his music was just as syncopated to the current temperature of the world. His song “Take Me Home Tonight” was one of those songs that no matter when you hear it, it’s still as good as the first time. Of course, his career was filled with even more songs that made him an icon. One of those songs just so happen to be “Two Tickets To Paradise,” a which showed his versatility as a musical virtuoso.

It’s something about music from the 1980s that felt as if it spoke to not only a certain aesthetic but to how you wanted to feel. Living in the city is a whole other experience that most do not ever really know about. The place I grew up in made me more open-minded than the people I would end up getting to know. In the articulately woven tales told by Karl Christian Krumpholz, he offers the world yet another masterpiece in One Minute To Wonderland.

In a series of panels, Krumpholz examines the city through its inhabitants and extrapolating what he sees who they are. “In the striking “He Embraced his loneliness”, we see how one man accepts his lot in life. In” He Just Wanted To Be Acknowledged”, a homeless wallows in his existence, as he denunciation to most people is far too transparent. In “And She Was Ready”, one woman whose life is under duress from an abusive relationship has seen its last days. In “Though She Left years Ago”, one woman reminisces of the city she left an what she loves about it most. In “Through Drunken Eyes”, one lush finds the beauty in city lights. In “ Away From the City”, one woman is finally able to see the world is bigger than the city she lives in. In “ She Could Never Stand The Sirens”, one woman’s disdain for the noises of the city drives her to madness. In the final story I will highlight, “ He Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye”,  one man finds letting go to be the hardest thing he ever had to do.

Overall, another engaging collection by Krumpholz, but one that has the audacity to challenge the medium in convention and thought. The stories by Krumpholz is brilliant and well developed. The art by Krumpholz is captivating. Altogether, a set of stories that pushes the reader to infer and to derive more from one panel than most creators do, making what Krumpholz is doing here, revolutionary.

Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: 30 Miles of Crazy #7

30 Miles of Crazy! #7

Armistead Maupin is one of those writers whose work spoke to many people and whose stories felt so visceral. His books made certain individuals who felt so alone for so long feel instantly connected to a larger tapestry. 30 Miles of Crazy #7 evokes a similar feeling.

I remembered the first time I heard about Maupin. It was in the television adaptation of one of his books for Showtime. The series starred some well-known actors and their lives in and around the city of San Francisco.

I watched the series as a lover of great stories and was not disappointed at all. The series was a godsend. It made me ravage his books. Though it was a world unfamiliar to me, his tactile penchant for pacing, his endearing structure of his characters, and his layered world building made his books both worthwhile and magnetic. Very few writers since his entry into the literary world can compare. Karl Christian Krumpholz is one who does. Krumpholz has set his own standards, giving the world a modern masterpiece in 30 Miles Of Crazy #7.

In “The City,” a man marvels at how much his city has changed around him, and though he lived there for years he still feels like an outsider. In “The Mugger,” an unlikely snowfall gives way to some very strange circumstances, ones that lead to a mugger walking his would-be victim home safely. In “A Gesture,” one man gets a love branch from someone in a crisis which puts his whole place in life in perspective. In “My Uncle,” one man finds out more about a long deceased relative in his death more than when he was alive. In “Darkness,” one bargoer reminisces about a friend who was the life of the party and how those missed connections, were the only chances we have before someone is gone from this life. In “My Only Stan Lee Story,” the author replays his wife’s encounter with the iconoclast, which though truncated, is both funny and very much is within his personality. In the last story I will highlight, “Agoraphobia,” one woman’s issues with her family haunts her long after they pass away, leaving her to question what she fears now?

Overall, a beautiful collection of vignettes that both ring true and is somewhat fantastical at times. The stories by Krumpholz are funny, brilliant, and heartfelt. The art by Krumpholz is gorgeous. Altogether, stories that will make you feel as though those bricks are beneath your feet.

Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Review: 30 Miles of Crazy #6

Where people want to live seems to come down to how you were raised and what you might consider “creature comforts.” Those comforts might be an inconvenience for the next person. I’ve been fortunate to have lived in both cities and suburbs. I also have been deployed as a service member and know how it is live in what most people would not even consider a dwelling.

This is where seeing the world makes a difference. It impacts the way one sees the world and relate to people from different backgrounds. Life is what you make it and that applies to the relationships you have with the people you come across as well. The world doesn’t revolve around one person but instead it does around all the people who inhabit it. In the final issue of 30 Miles Of Crazy, we get one last ride for fans of this anthology series.

In “Sometimes That Is Just Enough,” one homeless man laments on his life and how he got in this position. In “A Good Person,” one woman trying to do something nice ends up in a really awkward situation. In “The Old Lions,” one bar owner runs down he history of his establishment and how long it has been in his family. In “Sweet Caroline,” one man tells a melancholy tale about a prostitute that has longed stayed in his mind after she passed. In the final story “The ZFLTG Club,” a roundtable of women discusses the struggles of being a woman.

Overall, it’s a fine set of stories that rounds out this hilarious and relatable comic series about living in a metropolis. The stories by Karl Christian Krumpholz is entertaining and smart. The art by Krumpholz is remarkable and magnetic. Altogether, an excellent end to a fascinating series that redefines slice of life stories.

Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: 30 Miles of Crazy #5

Growing up, I never really understood why my parents would tell me not to hang out with certain kids. The people I made friends were the people I naturally gravitated towards. For me, my friends usually fit into more than one group. I had friends who were in to sports and were honor roll students. The kids who everyone figured was trouble, were usually really misunderstood or had other things going on which made them act out. The ones I never really got along with, was just because they had preconceived notions of who I was.

As I joined the military, I noticed many of those cliques in high school remained just in different forms. The reality is, you really are not who you are with. They may influence you but they do not make you. In the fifth and penultimate issue of 30 Miles Of Crazy, we find a few wild bunches, which challenges the boundaries of friendship.

In “The Crazy Ones,” one bar owner gives the rundown on one of his regulars, someone that has changed his life. In “Running,” one local bargoer talks about how he kept his integrity through the years. In “The Meanest Man In Scotland,” we get a tale of how it is drink abroad and the difference in distillation. In “Another Satisfied Customer,” a bartender spouts all the rules that needs to be followed when talking to the person behind the bar. In “The Failed Optimist,” one local bargoer talks about her many failed attempts at having a social life. In “Wes’ Story,” one gay man talks about how it used to be when being gay was still considered taboo.

Overall, it’s an entertaining issue which showcases some of the wildest tales about the city. The story by Karl Christian Krumpholz is funny and relatable. The art by Krumpholz is alluring. Altogether, it’s a one of the funniest issues from the series.

Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: 30 Miles of Crazy #4

Bars can be lonely places. But, it’s a place where you meet people from all walks of life. Sitting in the same bar you might find things in common. I’ve met some lifelong friends in places where spirits are involved just from simple conversations we had about life. In fact, some of my noteworthy conversations have been in places with hardwood floors and familiar smiles. This is also some of the places where I said goodbye to friends.

Some of those goodbyes were merry as they were moving on to improved jobs. Then there were the ones where I said goodbye for the last time. Those were melancholy to say the least. Bars can be epicenters for moments in life that need to be recognized. In the fourth issue of 30 Miles Of Crazy, we find a few patrons whose lives has taken some interesting turns.

In “Pickup Line,” a man who gets hit by a woman in a car, tries to actually “hit” on her. In “The Incident at The Family Dollar,” an overzealous geriatric calls the cop on a patron who accidentally bumps into him. In “Decisions,” a young woman checks on a homeless person who they believe may be dead. In “Crawfish,” a drunken woman lashes out at a restaurant to only get arrested moment later. In “Alone,” a young woman shows the reader what is dreadful about eating alone in a restaurant.  In “Wake Up,” two drunks try to get a drink after last call, only to try to get their drinks from a tattoo parlor. In “That Night,” one man recounts when trying to be the good Samaritan didn’t quite workout the way he wanted. In the last and probably most sorrowful tale in the series “Seeing The World,” one widower talks about how him and his wife were going to see the world until she got sick and passed away and how took to seeing the world for both of them.

Overall, the issue is another excellent installment in this fascinating series of vignettes about life in the concrete jungle. The story by Karl Christian Krumpholz is smart, funny, and relatable. The art by Krumphol is captivating. It’s another great issue with keen observations of the city.

Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: 30 Miles of Crazy #3

That old saying “you can go home again,” is one that so many can relate to in their own way. It could be that they’ve changed. They’re no longer a product of their environment, and they have grown exponentially since they left. They’re just not the same person. The place they call home could not be the same place. Neighborhoods change all the time, not only through developments but also the myriad of people who now inhabit what you consider home.

This becomes even more difficult the older you get. You realize you’re still the same person, but you’re no longer tethered to what you considered home. To most people, they don’t realize it once they leave home, your change has already begun. The world forces you to change along with it. In the third issue of 30 Miles Of Crazy a few characters find out this lesson the hard way.

In “Appropriate Behavior,” one drunk intentionally flirts with a barfly only to step over a line. In “Humor,” a cartoonist talks up a drunk woman who makes a bad joke. In “Late One Evening,” a couple gets a stranger inadvertently wet for their mistake. In “Spare Change,” a homeless man makes a woman uncomfortable for not giving him any money. In “Please,” a heartbroken man pleads for hi solve to take him back. In “The Christmas Comic,” a man helps a drunk cross the street only to be cursed out by him. In “You Cant Go Home Again,”  a drunk woman frustrated with change at her local bar , feels the place is not the same. In “Making The Rent,” a woman laments on how her neighborhood is not longer affordable for her. In “Drinks With A Dead Man,”  a man leaves it in his will to have one last round of beers for everyone at his favorite watering hole.

Overall, the comic is a hilarious set of stories that both bewilder and amuse the reader into stitches. The stories by Karl Christian Krumpholz are smart, funny, and irreverent. The art by Krumpholz is stellar. Altogether, it’s a slice of life comic that captures the experiences that can be found in most major metropolises.

Story : Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: 30 Miles of Crazy #2

There’s nothing like walking through a major metropolis at night. You’ll never see the city the same way. I remember growing up in New York City with my cousins. We used to take the train at all times of the night. This was when you used to see things that would rattle most folks. But not us. It wasn’t because we were tough or knew exactly what was going on. We were just used to it. It was part of being a city dweller.

What made our trips so interesting were the people we met. Most of them were regular dayworkers just trying to get home. Others were homeless just trying to stay warm and fed. Needless to say, when I eventually traveled the world, I saw that most cities were like ours, just with different flavors. In the second issue of Karl Christian Krumpholz’s sensational series, 30 Miles Of Crazy, readers gets another peak into what looks like a wild night.

In “An Awkward Late-Night Conversation” a man takes a taxi only to find out he is about to hear one of the most gripping stories of his life. In “Just One Man’s Opinion,” one lush, as most of them do, pushes his opinion about Alice Cooper to everyone he sees. In “A Cajun Baptism,” a friend of the author tells an embarrassing story about the first time they met. In “Tequila Sunrise,” one bargoer becomes infuriated when he wrongly assumes how a strong a certain drink is. In “The Second Date,” we find how the author’s second date with his wife to have told him everything he needed to know about her. In “The Scottish Goodbye,” one bargoer explains what the term means leading to hilarious epiphany. By issue’s end, the reader gets a more personal comic from the writer. It’s one which makes you understand the man behind the pen.

Overall, the second issue gives you not only more about the city but the man behind the words. The story by Krumpholz is both fun and hilarious. The art by Krumpholz is beautiful and vivid. Altogether, it’s an excellent installment which should pull more readers into this world.

Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: 30 Miles of Crazy #1

Garry Marshall was one of the best storytellers to ever write, as his movies, television shows and books took a humorous look at the human condition. He knew how to say the things most writers only wished they could articulate. His most well-known show, Happy Days, captured both the absurdity and momentousness of teen angst. His landmark show, Laverne & Shirley, spoke volumes about the issues women deal with on a daily basis.

I remember watching these shows growing up and thinking about how these stories reflected my life growing up in New York. I never put the connection together as an adolescent, but I definitely got it as I started to get exposed to different creators. It’s that “slice of life,” that human connection that tethers all people regardless of age, race and circumstance, that we are human, too. In Karl Christian Krumpholz’s brilliant 30 Miles Of Crazy, we get a similar take on life, but only for those like myself who didn’t come from the best circumstances.

In “Disrespect” an uneasy tale is told bout how far one man would go to show how he responds to any insolence. In “The Old Neighborhood,” a gentrified neighborhood becomes suddenly enveloped by people of a higher tax bracket and a worst attitude, as one such person gets put in her place. In “A Real Live One,” a man walks by what he thinks is another dead body but instead is another homeless person asleep. In “the Cost Of A Drink,” a hilarious encounter between a barfly and a bartender leaves one of them flabbergasted. In “Salt,” one city dweller dazed out of their mind looks for salt in a bed of snow. In “The Incident,” one homeless man gets harassed by some street punks and then gets arrested by the police for vagrancy. In “There’s Always A Cover,” a man tricks some customers into paying a cover fee for a bar which has no cover. In “Assumptions,” one young man laments about his drug addled friend and how people perceive him and his addiction. In “The Polite Thing To Do,” a barkeep an interesting encounter a customer and streetwalker, ending in a rather inappropriate exchange. In the final and probably most personal story, “Perseverance,” Krumpholz lets the reader into his life recounting his life in Boston , as a simple inscription above a doorway inspires him , to keep going and never give up.

The comic is an interesting collection of snapshots of life in its rawest form. The stories by Krumpholz are engaging, funny, endearing, and true to life. The art by Krumpholz is stunning and vivid. Altogether, it’s a comics which creates slices of life in the most stimulating palette.

Story: Karl Christian Krumpholz Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Revolt to What?

revolt-to-what-front-coverAs Prague crawls from  the shadow of the communist block, its’ artists, drunks, scholars, coffee shop goers begin to wonder what exactly it is they escaped to after communism.

The terror of communism in Eastern Europe, all its promises and lies,its Secret Police, taking victims in the dead of night. Friends, family and neighbors disappearing suddenly; talk of freedom had to be whispered in hidden alleys and secret meetings.

All the sacrifices and lives it took to put and end to an oppressive system is only made more tragic when the new system, capitalism, which was supposed to be a beacon of freedom and independence was less than what the revolutionaries expected. Much less.

Revolt to What? comes from the collaboration from two Denver based artists, Daniel Landes and Karl Christian Krumpholz. The illustrator, Karl Christian Krumpholz, known also for his webcomic 30 Miles of Crazy featuring a gritty, Tom Waits inspired street scenes with underground  bars and down on their luck patrons.

Writer Daniel Landes style is dark and a bit stoic, and portrays the tiredness and resigned anger of the people in coffee shop, as they talk about their former comrades, now dressed like bad versions of Lebowski type frat boys. Landes has written City of Whiskey & Fire with Noah Van Sciver, published by Kilgore Books and Comics for those interested in finding more of his work.

Revolt to What? answers the question of what happens after revolution. Its a definite read for history buffs and politic lovers alike.

Story: Daniel Landes Art: Karl Christian Krumpholz
Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Suspect Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Byron Returns TO SLG Publishing as digital comic

Official Press Release

BYRON RETURNS TO SLG IN ALL NEW SERIES

Comic Book Series to be Released Via Digital Download

SAN JOSE, CA – MAY 11 2011 –  Once you have survived drugged toads, vampire attacks, and the attempted realignment of reality. What else in life can possibly phase you. Karl Christian Krumpholz tackles that question as his erstwhile hero Byron returns for another set of adventures in an all new comic book series Byron: Die Byron Die,  from SLG Publishing.

Now thinking of himself as some sort of ‘Psychic Investigator’, he’s on the road, entering the wild places of America and searching for his missing brother, H.P.. How hard can finding a talkative two-headed pickled punk be? America may a big place after all, but such things tend to stand out.

Over his search, Byron will meet fashionable hillbillies, christian dominatrix, mad bartenders, tiki zombies, fox and spider women, pagan hippies, saintly murderers, spirits, gods, the Book of Life itself, and a strange woman called ‘Widdershin.’ Byron already realizes that his life is not what is seemed to be. Now he’s finding out that the world is not what is seemed to be either.

The first Byron story, Byron: Mad, Bad and Dangerous, was released as a graphic novel by SLG Publishing. The publisher has decided to do the initial release of Die Byron Die as digital comics serializing them in downloadable form. Issue #1 and #2 of the series were released on the SLG Publishing website as ePub and PDF files and will follow on all of the companies digital partners application at some point in the future. Issue #1 of the series is free and the subsuquent issues will be 99¢.

“The decision to go digital first with new releases has been popping around in my head for some time” said SLG president Dan Vado “The state of the marketplace kind of dictates that we, at some point, try something like this as a brand and market building exercise” then adding “we need to find out if the demand for digital comics extends to our type of comics and to what extent people who want our kind of material will support this method of distribution.”

Established in 1986 and celebrating its 25th anniverary, SLG Publishing is a San Jose, California-based publisher of comic books, graphic novels and related merchandise. Some of SLG’s more notable comics have included Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez, Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan, and Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer by Van Jensen and Dustin Higgins. www.slgcomic.com