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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Land of the Free... Comics

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: January 2010

Times are tough. No matter how you slice it, people today just don’t have as much disposable cash as they once did. Sadly, this means the things they don’t consider “essential” aren’t on their shopping lists anymore, and at a time when it needs it most, our economy is stimulated less and less. After food, gas and rent, coffee and comic books place pretty highly on my list of “essentials”. I’m lucky to have a job where I receive plenty of hours, so (for now) I can afford to keep such things, although they may be semi-frivolous, on my personal shopping list. Barnes and Nobles has a selection of graphic novels and trade paperbacks, and they don’t care if you loiter on their premises, reading without buying anything, but their selection is pedestrian and boring. Local comic shops, (depending on the staff) are willing to let you flip through a few issues, but don’t bother trying to sit down and read them lest you desire a stern lecture about shiftless layabouts who crease pages and bend bindings. So dear readers, it is with the struggling economy in mind that I bring to you this week the following topic.

 Online comics are perhaps the greatest unused resource in an enthusiast’s arsenal. There are so many great comics that are online only, as well as many publishing companies who will post select issues, (usually the first) online so as to entice the readers to purchase the issues to follow. The Perry Bible Fellowship is a neat little online collection of strips, which are well drawn and endlessly entertaining. (Found at www.pbfcomics.com). Brought to my attention by the Synthesis staff’s new wunderkind Eric Wendt, or “creepy Eric” as he’s known to his close friends, Adventures Of The Man With No Penis is a delightfully simple, three panel comic that will bring you the type of laughter that’s usually of the funny-because-it-would-be-true variety. [Authors note: For men who have no penis, or simply live like they have no penis, this comic strip is for you. Eric, I’m looking at you buddy]. Adventures Of The Man With No Penis can be found on www.ebaumsworld.com. DC hosts a website called Zuda, which has on online contest every month to choose online comics worthy of publication. You’ll find an entire bevy of very talented artists and writers on this site, and it’s definitely worth checking out. (www.zudacomics.com). Free comics are a magical thing, and thanks to the world wide web, they aren’t just constrained to Free Comic Book Day. So dear readers, do yourselves, (and your wallets) a big favor and research free online comics. Your bank account will thank you later. 

Arielle Mullen