AS YOU WERE: A PUNK COMIX ANTHOLOGY #2: $5, 5½” x 8½”, offset with card stock cover, 80 pgs.

Reading the tales in this sophomore issue of this Mitch Clem-curated zine, it’s not hard to imagine that the title is intended as a reflection. Many of the comics in this volume relay messages of the people we used to be and the memories that shape the person we are now. It’s hard to judge this volume as a whole cohesive work, because, you know, it’s not. This issue’s theme is “The Pit,” which even includes one artist who incorporated the mandatory Parks and Recreationreference. The talent included in the book is astounding, with over twenty contributors listed on the credits page. There’s not a wasted page (except for this one weird page where the panels only go halfway down) and almost every contribution is a winner. My favorites were Ben Snakepit’s storyboard for a D.R.I. music video, Kettnerd’s moshing instruction diagrams, and a very emotional comic from Mitch Clem about the internal feedback loop that comes from overanalyzing one’s own actions. There’s a good amount of variety in the book and a lot of good comics that I can’t find room to mention. My one complaint is the similar ground that most of the comics tread to set up their premise. A lot of “I don’t go in the pit because it’s scary” type set-ups. Either way, this is essential reading if you like comic books and punk rock, which I’m pretty sure is most people who like punk rock. Grade: A-. –Bryan Static (Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club, 1057 Valencia St., SF, CA94110, silversprocket.net)