ADVENTURES OF TAD MARTIN, THE #6: $6.66, 6½” x 10¼”, offset, 66 pgs.

Casanova Frankenstein, formerly known as Al Frank, returns to his comic avatar Tad Martin after over a decade. While reading, I was struck by the artistic similarities to Bill Sienkiewicz and Gary Panter, as well as the confessional, autobiographical format of Harvey Pekar. Frankenstein admits in the closing remarks that those artists were “thrown into the blender.” This comic is not for the faint of heart as it graphically exploits the mental and physical decline of Tad Martin, resulting in the confrontational explosion of his marriage to a deranged drug-addicted party animal. Martin’s paranoia, workplace misery, and crippling fear of abandonment are explicit and unnerving, yet compelling in a grotesque, voyeuristic sort of way. There is no hero, no happy ending, and no resolution, except possibly Martin’s recognition of his aloneness. Tad Martin is raw, unfiltered, and confrontational, just as underground comics should be. –Sean Arenas (Teenage Dinosaur / Profanity Hill, no address listed)