Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: FUKITOR & SATANIC TERROR (by Dread Sockett)

By Jason Karns
Website with galleries of art on display:

    Jason Karns’ FUKITOR and SATANIC TERROR take me back to the days when I gathered my lunch money and hoofed it downtown to this one bookstore that was crammed with every damned type of periodical imaginable. Stuff was haphazardly arranged and shoppers could find something from five years prior sitting on the shelf next to something stocked that day. You never knew what was buried underneath the piles. Comix-wise, I got my introduction to undergrounds during one of these treasure hunts. While my friends were yacking about SPIDER-MAN, I’d suck the air out of conversations when I’d mention (even then old) titles like FANTAGOR or FAT FREDDY’s CAT.
    Fast-forward a few years…I had hoped with the whole indie/zine thing I’d be just as awed by the crazyass worlds only small press-type books could deliver. Those individual slices of creativity, unfettered by profit, that you could turn to remind you there was someone out there who was still willing to think outside the box. Unfortunately, I came into zines (from fanzines – and yes, there is a difference) during the big autobio comics period where everything was about someone’s trip to the grocery store or their ruminations at the coffeemaker. Yawn.

    There is none of that shit here. THANK. FUCKING. GAWD. Take a look at the titles and if you can’t get past them, then leave now. Like an insect with bright warning markers on display, if you tread past the titles and get stung, you have no one to blame but yourself!

    So believe it or not, I have actually wondered, in one of my more... uhm.. “creative” mindsets, what would happen if someone threw Fellini, Burton, (old) Waters, some Euro-trash-exploitation-sleaze, a generous amount of Horror and straight-up porn into a blender…and goddammit if Jason Karns didn’t do just that!

    In FUKITOR #3, the “SICK FUCKS AND SLASHERS” issue, we have “TOMB OF THE SICK FUCKS,” where greedy treasure hunters get more than they bargained for when the dead rise and do more than get their revenge. Guts get chewed, heads shorn off, and blood sprays everywhere while they get their maggot-spewing grooves on. In “SUBURBAN SLASHER MASSACRE,” an escaped mental patient goes on a rampage at a sorority as the girls scream, “Like, oh my fucking god!”

    In FUKITOR #1, the two-part “POSEUR HOLOCAUST” blasts metalheads and Goths and in “DUNGEON OF BLOODY DEATH” a couple gets captured by undead monks who bring back the Inquisition, and what a show it is indeed.

    SATANIC TERROR #1 is my favorite issue, next to Fukitor #3. I mean, damn, how can you not love something titled “THE THING WITH TOO MANY DAMN EYES”?? It doesn’t even matter that those eyes are each attached to toothy penis-like tentacle things that attack people and do “other things” to them after stupid scientists open a portal. In “BLOODY BUTCHERS OF THE DAMNED” watch NAZI ZOMBIES rise and wreak more bloody havoc on some party kids.

    ARTWISE: Karns has his stuff nailed. If we were talking some action/drama stories I’d want to see much more refinement and better composition. Here, he illustrates everything perfectly; I wouldn’t want to see anything different. His production is tight, with color covers and interiors(!), something I’d usually be all over (especially being so rare in small press), but here, I’d LOVE to see his compositions in B&W just to view his line work. Karns’ work is chaotic and hyper-detailed, with his characters’ expressions reflecting just the right look to add whoompf! to punchlines. The bumped-up production values actually work against his art’s presentation at times by obscuring details. That’s my one bone to pick.

    As I re-read this, I kept imagining Karns’ at his drawing board chuckling his ass off and channeling a wink into his pages because he’s clearly having fun with his comix and readers. I would definitely recommend Karns’ work to lovers of REALLY offbeat fuck-you comix that don’t give a damn. They’re offensive, definitely NSFW, but clearly aware of themselves so that you can’t help but chuckle along with the surreal, absurdist world they plunge you into. Once you’ve read one, you quickly realize that the Underground is indeed still alive and well – you were just too distracted by all the other poseurs and their tales of coffeemaking.

No comments: