Sifting for Gold #11

Everyone loves clowns! Seriously, I can't think of a single person who doesn't like them! Since I like to cater to the masses, here's:

Bill the Clown: Death & Clown White #1 (1993)
Slave Labor Graphics

Aright so on that there cover we got us a yellow toothed smoking clown with hairy arms playing that American past time, Chainsaw-Cleaver-Mace Juggling. He is clearly not doing well, as bits of his suit and hair keep getting cut off, but you know what? He looks happy, and that's what's important.

Crime is rampant in America and families are scared! Luckily, Bill the clown is on the case with his defensive training program, Hooked on Violence. After Bill's advertisement for that program, the story begins to detail his crappy, gin soaked life by talking about his rundown apartment and these dummies called the Hare Krishnas who hang around outside the airport and dance until someone pays them to stop. Bill, being a clown, figures he would be more entertaining then those chumps so starts dancing on the street (and juggling of course). Well, the Krishnas can't have that, and go to confront him, only to be beaten up. They decide Bill is too dangerous and realize they must take him out, which they try and fail at. The next day Bill goes back to his dance spot, only to find the Hare Krishnas dancing there, IN clown make up! Preposterous! Bill steals their Winnebago and swears revenge. TO BE CONTINUED (but not by me)

Story 2 has Bill walking through the city, just being a clown, when he happens across a store window that showcases Bill the Clown: Unauthorized Biography (in comic book form). He is outraged and decides to find out who is responsible, so he steals a cab and blows up a good chunk of the city on his way to the Revolting Comics office building. Mr. Hilter (who looks like a certain dictator) is running the company and explains to Bill that he is not in the wrong and can publish the biography because it is his First Amendment right. Bill politely explains that he will retaliate because of his Second Amendment right, "The right to bear extremely heavy arms". He blows up the building, and goes on his way. THE END?

This book, as I'm sure you can see, is entirely in black and white, which is good and bad in this case. Good because the artists did some really neat stuff with face shading and bad because each panel is very populated with detail and action, and it gets a little hard to concentrate (particularly in the second story). That being said the art really isn't bad. The first story uses the backgrounds to show how terrible the area really is and the human figures work, I just have a couple issues with some of the mouths. The second story uses stipling in great ways and the facial characteristics are expressive. The second story also has some great set dressing, my favorite of which being a poster for a sinister Flinstone's comic called Dark Fred, however it suffers from that overpopulation I was discussing earlier.

All in all, not the worst issue. It is an introduction to a character who is the love child of The Mask, The Joker, and Evil Ernie. While beating up street performers and comic book execs isn't the best story in the world, it was more or less a fun (albeit unnecessary) issue with some interesting visuals. Not fun enough I guess, because there were verrrry few issues. Looks like this clown never got to his... punch line. YEEEEEEEEEEAH! (That's a CSI joke).

If I were to pick one panel to sum up this issue, it'd have to be:

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