Collected Cyanide Milkshake, Thee By Liz Suburbia, 176 pgs.

Apr 10, 2019

As the title might tip you off to, this is the complete collection of Cyanide Milkshake, which is extremely convenient to anyone trying to track down all the back issues. Though there were only eight issues (including the mysterious lost first issue which Liz explains in comic form), having the work gathered up in one place is awesome. Not only does it show you the progress of the artist, but also how her expression and thought process changed over time—and most importantly—there’s no extreme cliffhangers in the serialized comics. Be relieved that you can read each installment of Girl-Boy Adventures all in one go, instead of waiting with bated breath for whenever the next issue comes out. My favorite reoccurring comic in Cyanide Milkshake is Ulster & Penny. It’s the tale of two rambunctious dogs who are constantly getting into trouble and looking super cool while doing so.

Liz’s style is detailed, yet simple with bold line work and lots of heavy spot blacking. She says in every issue: ”You can do the same thing! All it takes is some printer paper and a Sharpie!” Well, that and a modicum of Liz’s talent and humor. As far as the actual content goes, I’d recommend that you take the notice “Contains adult content” to heart. Nothing in the zine ever bothered me or got under my skin, but quite a lot of this book was not safe for work and I found myself covering up parts of pages when I was reading it in the break room.

One of the other things that I really appreciate about Liz’s work is her vulnerability and dissection of the punk subculture. Though at first I thought this kind of expression was only happening in the intros for each issue, you can see it permeate throughout. Even something as subtle as a character in All Dogs in a 7-Eleven telling her friend to live with their decisions in something as small as a Slurpee flavor choice echoes back to her ethos. There’s certainly very much of the artist in the art, and that’s one of the key components of quality to me. While I find her thoughts on how punk as a subculture could be better very refreshing, I also appreciate that they’re paired with such awesome art.

I’ll leave off with another endorsement for Ulster & Penny. Those two are just so adorable and rad and even dangerous at times! I’d love to have a poster of the two of them going to a punk show—especially the frame with Ulster getting the back of his paw X’ed out by the person at the door while Penny looks on with a five dollar bill in their mouth. So awesome. –Kayla Greet (Gimme Action)