John Bergin is, in my mind, one of the best comic artists around these days. Before "Ashes," there was "Brain Dead." BD bills itself as a magazine of "comics, music, poetry and stuff." A large amount of the comics are by Bergin himself, with regular contributions from artists like Joe E. (a contributor to my zine "Going Gaga") Mark Neville, and Don Glass.
Bergin's style is unique and powerfully rendered; his stories pensive, surrealist evocations. Lots of mopey, gratuitous poetry and art is found here which seems to be the coin of the realm in the zine network. All around, this is better than most. With all the work John has been getting from Caliber, Tundra, etc., I don't know if he'll continue to produce BD. Check with him about back issues and to get on the mailing list for his currently available material.
John is also a very interesting experimental/industrial noise artist who has put together a series of tapes under the name "Trust Obey". If you're interested in this type of music, I highly recommend them.
4503 Washington Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Here is the TEXT POPUP for Brain Dead:
Wake yourself up!
Quit waiting for something to happen!!
Before you know it something WILL have happened.
You'll have passed away...
or you'll wake up to find yourself in a much more
- from a comic by Joe E.
I enter the Diner.
I don't look up.
I feel meager.
I imagine that everyone has the heads of animals.
The waitress asks me if I'd like to sit at the counter or the booth. She's plump and attractive, even with the head of a buffalo.
She leans over the cream and sugar jar to take my order. Her nostrils are inches away from my face.
Her leaning causes her blouse to fall away from her chest, revealing lace and round, pale milk flesh.
She smiles and stands straight. Her blouse falls back into place.
But the memories are mine.
- captions from A Slight Warm Breeze. Text by Ted McKeever, Art by John Bergin.
They're coming for you, Allin. I've told them everything.
- from comic by Kevin Elphick