Gutter Space #20 by Leslie Salas
Comics in the Real World: Funny Pages as a part of Holiday Bullshit by Cards Against Humanity
Imagine my surprise (and confusion) when I got the first cleverly-decorated envelope with a cleverly illustrated re-imagining of a Partridge in a pear tree. The contents of the envelope chastised me for trusting total strangers with $12. Since I hadn’t given anyone online $12, I quickly deduced this must be the work of my brother—who managed to get me on the list before it sold out (after only 6 hours!).
While the arrival of my gifts wasn’t exactly punctual (USPS is slammed this time of year), I did have a lot of fun getting presents via snail mail: surprise expansion packs for Cards Against Humanity, a lump of coal, a new card game, some posters of artistic interpretations of trump cards, a donation to public school classrooms, and best of all, a one-shot publication of a Funny Pages zine.
The Funny Pages features some of my favorite cartoonists—Allie Brosh, Jess Fink, Zach Weinersmith, John Allison, Sam Brown—and also introduced me to some new names and comics I’ll definitely be writing about in the new year.
I’d like to talk about the publication as a whole and the potential consequences of sending 100,000 people this print comic (and making the entire publication available online via tumblr). I’m sure each of these cartoonists donated their work for the cause—it gets their name out into the world and can help increase their readership.
For instance, Allie Brosh (of Hyperbole and a Half) has the entire back cover of the zine. Since she just published her first book, this is like free publicity and/or a collector’s item for hardcore fans. Other cartoonists, like Erika Moen, have taken this opportunity to educate a widespread readership, in this case, about safe sex. Many of the cartoons offer cultural critiques about the holidays, while others comment on Cards Against Humanity as a game.
Overall, the collection of work is eclectic and fun, and I highly suggest reading it. If you’re one of the 99,999 other people who got the zine in print—keep it! If only for a lovely memento of seeing some of the best-known webcartoonists’ work in print.
Happy holidays, everyone.
Leslie Salas (episode 75) writes fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, and comics. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida and attended the University of Denver Publishing Institute. In addition to being an Associate Course Director at Full Sail University, Leslie also serves as an assistant editor for The Florida Review, a graphic nonfiction editorial assistant for Sweet: A Literary Confection, and a regular contributing artist for SmokeLong Quarterly.