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[whitespace] Over the Borderline: With coat-hanger kids, bad-attitude penises and nympho oddities, cartoon zine author Edmund McMillen pushes the boundaries of good taste--just like one-name wonders like Madonna and assorted local punk rockers.

Zine and Heard

Edmund McMillen gets down and dirty (among other things) in issue No. 4 of 'This Is a Cry for Help'

By Matt Koumaras

EDMUND PUNCHES THE shock meter with highly serviceable blows braced in the "pee pee poo poo" stage of human development. Maintaining the fine legacy of perverse brutality of the zine's first three issues, this edition of This Is a Cry for Help features more coat-hanger kids, bad-attitude penises and nympho oddities that whoop it up and have a real sick time.

"The Downside to Reincarnation" is utterly vile and warrants a dirty thumbs up from the toilet bowl. "An Eye for an Eye" about an abortion that survives is disturbing yet full of surprising poignancy. The low-fi porn stick figures of the "Bonus Strips" are the secret heroes of this issue. "Pigtail Peggy and Normy, the Disembodied Racist Goat Head That Tells Her Lies" treads on shaky ground with racial stereotypes.

Edmund opens up the issue with a disclaimer stating, "Some of the characters in this comic say some racist things but that doesn't mean in any way that I'm a racist." I believe him, but even if this is just twisted make-believe comic land, this still is bound to offend certain people of targeted groups. Stick to phalluses of no specific denomination, Edmund, and the world is your willing lovedoll.

I knew I shouldn't have taken that sensitivity training seminar at Gilman. Available at Streetlight Records, by writing to P.O. Box 661, Soquel, 95073 or by emailing [email protected].

Name Dropping

In response to a letter from David J. Sautter commenting how this column doesn't mention last names ("Letters," Jan. 26, 2000), I have a few things to say. Mentioning people only by first names like "Krissy" or "Bob" is not some "underground-hip" thing. I'm all for giving local musicians full recognition for their heady orbs of creativity. But believe me, David, I've tried this route. All I get from these scenester prima donnas are first names. Every one of these musicians daily swims laps in a pool of self-importance. They all have adopted first name rock star monikers like Madonna, Wynonna, Urkel and Merlin. I firmly believe that people should have last names printed in this column; if I had it my way, I'd print their middle names and Social Security numbers, too, so their friends could praise them at the frat house, bakesale or intervention session.

To prove to you that I am not a man of words but one of action, here are a few full names I have gathered through pulling strings at Steve's Music World. John from Spaceboy and Fiend Master Freak is actually John Jacob Jingle Heimer Schmidt; the Volunteers is led by Sam Diamond Phillips; the What-Nots and Peggy Hills are fronted by Eden Apples; Schlep and Heckla's Bio Bob is short for Bionic Bob Mumia Abdul-Jabbar. Hell, my hands are stained, too, because my name is listed on the second floor of the Metro Santa Cruz offices as Luka--although when the Santa Cruz City Council changes the lunar calendar to include 33 days every month, I shall then go by the tilde sign: ~. We must rage against this egotistical machine, David.


Thursday, Sucker Punch, Sneaky Creekans, the What-Nots and Sin in Space play the Catalyst; Friday, 40 Acres, the revamped Peggy Hills, Sin in Space and Fall of Live play Callahan's; Saturday, Vincent's Ear and Exploding Crustaceans play Britannia Arms in Aptos at 8pm.

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From the February 9-16, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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