By Becky Cloonan, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, Rafael Grampa & Vasilis Lolos
July 2007. I paid four bucks for mine!
I picked up 5 at CCI, and along with THB and the Fourth World Omnibus it was easily one of my favorite purchases. It’s essentially a love letter to comics, to making them, and to each other, by Becky Cloonan, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, Vasilis Lolos and Rafael Grampa.
5 is made up of four short stories and a cover, each by one of the contributors. The first story is “Becky,” by Gabriel Ba, about a tiny (but menacing!) lady getting out of prison, going home to her pet tiger and dirty dishes, and chaining herself to her drawing table.
“Fabio & Gabriel,” by Becky Cloonan, involves two artists, a mysterious egg, and “Becky’s” Becky reaching up through the comic page to flick the nose of one of our heroes.
“Vasilis” by Fabio Moon concerns itself with spaceships, even more cross-referencing from the previous stories, broken ankles, and yet more comics drawing.
“Grampa,” by Vasilis Lolos, and probably my favorite contribution, features an artist doing battle with a squidy-pug-in-a-jar before the unbelieving stares of the general public -- except for a grinning kid, who happily believes it all, and is rewarded for it with a comic book. Sweet!
Rafael Grampa provides the cover and title pages to every story. His website calls 5 the first, but not the last, collaboration between the five artists, and I really hope that’s true. The Engine occasionally flares up with talk about a “slimline anthology," an inexpensive periodical put together by four or five like-minded souls -- and if Becky, Fabio, Gabriel, Rafael and Vasilis were the souls behind such an effort, I’d be a happy, happy dude.
(I don't know when or where outside of San Diego copies of 5 are available, but earlier this week Comic Relief in Berkeley had copies -- let 'em know you want one!)
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Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba