Punk Rock and Polar Bears

Reject All by David Robertson

So Buttons 12 by Jonathan Baylis

(both with a host of guest artists)

Cover of Reject All by David Roberston et al

I want to give a shout out to a couple of great books I was sent recently. In these days of high postage costs it makes sense that most submissions I get arrive electronically, but it is always special to get a physical book.

First up is the latest one from the man I keep calling the Dundonian Harvey Pekar, David Robertson (one day it will catch on.) David must have had too many cookies because his latest book is called Reject All.

In this volume we discover wild tales from Dundee’s past – a polar bear rampaging in the High Street no less. There are autobiographical stories and some I am kind of hoping aren’t autobiographical. Pop culture features as ever, with movie meanderings from Star Wars, the X-Men and more. 

Four panels featuring a polar bear in the streets of Dundee
Bruin by David Robertson

David has a great talent for capturing the everyday and the strange thoughts that cross our minds. The struggles we all face, like ‘where did I put my face-mask’ and ‘do I need glasses?’

David illustrates many of the tales himself but there are also a number of guest artists, many familiar from previous volumes. Clio Ding, DogJohn, Zu Dominiak, Helena Edwardson, Rebecca Horner, Tim Kelly, Marc KZ, Francesca Mancuso, Neil Paterson, Iestyn Pettigrew, Mike Sedakat, Abi Wye and Cherish York all bring their talents and provide a great variety of art styles.

Six panels showing a man having an eye test at an opticians.
At the opticians

The second great delivery I had recently was the latest volume of So Buttons from Jonathan Baylis. It is the streets of Brooklyn rather than Dundee that inform this book. Brooklyn might be hipper than Dundee, but I bet they never had a polar bear rampaging in the streets.

Cover to So Buttons 12
So Buttons 12

Comics and music are the two main themes that crop up in this issue. That is fortunate as I love them both. There are musings on life as an indy comics creator and a cool story about buying some Frank Quitely art from his work with Grant Morrison on All-Star Superman. Nice to think that Scotland still has some influence on world culture.

Music, punk rock in particular comes under the spotlight with a great story about meeting Ian MacKaye of Fugazi. Ian tells a tale of chaos as a cohort of punks are brought in to provide an audience for hardcore band Fear.

Image of the band Fear playing on Saturday Night Live
Art by J.T Yost

Probably the best gig I ever attended was a Fugazi concert in Glasgow. The audience was as much the star as the band for this show. To begin with the show had a nasty atmosphere with a lot of violent behaviour in the pit. That was turned around when women in the audience occupied the stage while the band played a very long version of their song Suggestion in the background – the song is about violence against women. The atmosphere was transformed with more speeches, dancing and everyone had a great time. I saw the band a few other times, but nothing topped this. At a later show Ian said that this had been the best show they ever played.

Art is provided by Rachelle Meyer, Lance Ward, Carol Tyler, Ben Passmore, Tony Wolf, Josh Bayer, Josh Pettinger, Miss Lasko-Gross, Kevin Colden, T.J Kirsch, Devy Goldstein with J.T Yost capturing the punk vibe on the Fugazi tale brilliantly and also an outstanding story of comic book history from Noah Van Sciver. And not forgetting Lucas Eisenberg-Baylis of course!

Panel showing Chris Claremont walking down the street illustrated by Noah van Sciver.
art by Noah Van Sciver

You can get these comics at the addresses below:

Reject AllFredEggComics.com

So, ButtonsSoButtons.com

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