Without question Tim Lane is one of the most insightful, reflective, and sharpest artistic talents in the alternative comics scene today. In Lane’s book, Abandoned Cars, the term “graphic novel” feels much more apt and appropriate than any other release in the comics world within the last several years. This exceptional work, first released in 2008 by Fantagraphics and now available in a softcover edition with 2 different covers to choose from, has more in common with prose authors of a grand, yet lonely, American literary tradition than anything else on the comic store shelves.
The content of alternative comics anthologies in the last ten years seems to be veering away from their (potentially offensive) underground roots. Instead, these collections seem to be reaching more towards the art gallery-centric world of the Pop Surrealism movement. For example, Blab! once regularly spotlighted cartoonists like Kaz, Daniel Clowes and Richard Sala. But now it reserves the most space for top names in the alternative art world like Gary Baseman, Mark Ryden and Camille Rose Garcia. All of these creators are equally amazing, but without the often humor driven, obscenely funny stories of someone like Glenn Head, an alternative comic anthology just isn’t as much, well, fun.