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Hotwire Comics, Vol. 2 (v. 2) Paperback – February 13, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (February 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560978910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560978916
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.9 x 11.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,235,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Eschewing the more quotidian pursuits of such contemporary comics anthologies as Kramer's Ergot and Mome, Hotwire is as subtle as a poke in the eye, of which there are several. With an aesthetic reminiscent of Blab! and the lowbrow art movement, it's a brutal journey into a world of low-class grifters, fatal car crashes and neighbors who suggest inappropriate sex acts. Disturbing sexual imagery is pervasive, as in editor Head's Oozing Dread! a perfervid story with Wilhelm Reich and his orgone machines at the center. While the ongoing mood is frantic, doomed squalor, the talent assembled is impressive and the cartooning vigor gives the subject matter some humanity. R. Sikoryak supplies a retelling of Dorian Gray in a spot-on pastiche of Winsor McCay; Carol Swain imagines a plague of books; and Mary Fleener vividly recalls a bad trip on angel dust with cubist-inspired imagery. Tim Lane presents a number of short tales that manage to infuse the gloom with a bit of narrative heft in a few pages. Although Sin City is profanely parodied in Hotwire, readers who enjoyed that tale's melodramatic violence will find much more of the same here. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Editor Head is back with a second collection of attitude-laden comic strips about barflies, druggies, sex-addicts, slackers, and other lowlifes. The most in-your-face entries come from such bad boys—and girls—as Tim Lane, whose two stories center on bizarre barroom encounters; Mary Fleener, who reminisces about a date with a drug dealer, during which she sampled a dangerous diversity of his wares; Craig Yoe, who updates the notorious 1920s and 1930s pornographic comics called Tijuana bibles; and Head himself, who contributes a sexually frustrated 1950s housewife’s encounter with controversial orgone box inventor Wilhelm Reich. As before, the artier contributors make the strongest impressions: Carol Swain’s surreal take on the death of the book and R. Sikoryak’s impeccable retelling of Dorian Gray in the style of Little Nemo. Should there be a third Hotwire volume, here’s hoping Head challenges the highbrow “artistes” to get down and dirty with strips truer to the project’s vulgarity-embracing premise, and the lowbrow ones to attempt work that is more formally ambitious while retaining Hotwire’s willful offensiveness. --Gordon Flagg

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic and bizarre collection. Like a side show of freaks. If you love this sort of's a classic.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you love comics, buy this book. It's awesome in every way, with beautiful art, twisted stories, and explorations of what comix can be.

It's not for kids, so keep that in mind!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric on June 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
The weirdest thing about this collection is how lifeless it is. Very few of these stories are entertaining, and even fewer are innovative. Just flipping through the pages it visually would seem to offer quite a zany potpourri of interesting stuff, but somewhere around half way through it I realized how bored I was with every story I had read up to that point. With an alternative anthology you would expect to find creations from inspired and original thinkers who are working outside the box, but the bulk of this volume is depressingly bland and often directionless. I hate to say this (and I don't say this lightly) but many of the artists here do nothing more than go through the motions of what alternative is "supposed to be" and aping cartooning ideas and art styles that have been done by more talented creators. Some examples; Craig Yoe is a less refined and un-enigmatic Victor Moscoso. Glenn Head is a little bit Deitch, a little bit Crumb, and does the whole anti business/religion/establishment thing in a rather redundant familiarity? Tim Lane is a dry version of Charles Burns. Anyway, it's just that this is stuff that we've seen before. Where's the originality? Where's the fun? I will say that many of these comics have a twistedly familiar classic underground or alternative appearance to them, but it's a dry run. It feels like a collection done by cartoonists who are mostly directionless or haven't found their own voice, or maybe they just plain suck?

There are a few decent pieces in this volume but only a few... like Mary Fleener's "Niacin" story was a good read. But "alternative" is really the standard these days, and most of this is standard been-done-before kind of stuff.
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