Zine review: 16th and Mission

Picking up where the first issue left off, the second volume of “16th and Mission Comix” is a treat for the eyes and a shock to the system with its stunning visuals and drug-addled, often off-color sense of humor. In “The Writer,” Christopher Forsley tackles the issue of writer’s block with Cameron Forsley’s heavily shaded, underground comics-influenced illustrations adding a frantic absurdity to that universal feeling of dread that only a deadline can bring. Ryan Yee’s “The Stem,” by contrast, has a more meditative feel, augmented by beautiful tones and ethereal, almost painterly lines. David Chacon’s “Wank Wank”, by contrast, is a rip-roaringly entertaining mess of gross-out humor and freneticism. All these stories, in addition to the three others printed are imbued with a sense of outstanding wildness that only underground comics can provide.

Admittedly, “16th and Mission Comix” is probably not for everyone. The gritty, sometimes disturbing realism of even the more lighthearted stories may prove too much for those who prefer the glossy productions generally released by major comic companies. Likewise, the more adult nature of many of the themes and the graphic nature in which they are portrayed (most notably, the use of penises as weapons in “Wank Wank”) may distract more sensitive readers from the beautiful artwork, emotional truth and many other delights that the comic has to offer. However, those with the stomach and an appreciation for visually striking underground comics will not be disappointed by “16th and Mission Comix”.