Strange Guts: American Septic (Book)
Published by AuthorMike Dark Ink
Brian J. Orlowski always wanted to be a cartoonist. In the mid-90's, inspired by the immensely popular comic strip The Far Side, Orlowski decided to take the idea one step further. The difference between Orlowski's Strange Guts comics and everything else out there is this... the vast majority of the Strange Guts comics involve at least one person with most of his innards on the outside of his body. Yeah, they're gross. Really, really gross.
Orlowski combines a sharp sense of humor with snazzy artistic skills. But the real draw to the horror community is the no-holds barred approach Orlowski brings to the violence and gore of the comics. And even with viscera oozing from every frame, page after page of Strange Guts: American Septic is incredibly funny. You'll find yourself laughing out loud at the humor, which goes from juvenile to cryptic (and back to juvenile) as you make your way through the book.
Strange Guts: American Septic is organized in chronological order. You can literally watch Orlowski transform as an artist. Beginning during his college years from '94 through '97 and continuing right up through 2011, this is a collection of work that is over 15 years in the making. It was Orlowski's dream to get this book made, and you can easily see the effort that went into each piece as the detail jumps out from every one. And again, they're funny. It wouldn't matter how brilliant the artwork was if the caption didn't bring it all together and give you a chuckle. Without the humor the whole thing is kind of a waste of time. No worries about that here as Orlowski is as funny as he is artistically gifted.
The only negative I can put on this book is a purely selfish one. I would have loved to have seen these comics in full, bloody color. Glossy pages filled with deep red flowing through the volume would have really made this thing stand out. But that's just me thinking about me. It's completely understood that this is a grassroots effort, and although it doesn't have the slick production values of a big money production, Strange Guts: American Septic more than makes up for it by brilliantly weaving horrifically disturbing drawings with an off the wall sense of humor.
Brian J. Orlowski's Strange Guts: American Septic is a collection of comics that every fan of horror and gore should have on their coffee tables (whether they be made from human bones or not). The artwork is great, the jokes are effective and more than anything else, it's just a lot of fun. Do yourself a favor and track this book down. You won't be disappointed.
4 out of 5