Reviews of Flung
It's not like I've amassed tons of reviews, but those I could find are reproduced here. Of course, any negative comments are completely without merit, and you should order all issues of Flung immediately. Anyway, here's what some folks had to say about Flung:
There's plenty of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in this small press comic from Seattle's "G. Fling" guy — with the emphasis in that order. There's nothing explicit in the cartoons, but the language and narrative provide enough mature content to earn a Mature Readers label.
The main feature is about a group of late twenty-something buddies out on the town checking out chicks and hoping for what might happen. As they migrate from one hotspot to the next they encounter a pair of women that seem unusually interested in getting together with them to party and have a really good time.
The self-published zine also includes a two-pager about a lame drug deal at a convenience store, a letters page, and a plug-page for G. Fling's other projects.
G. Fling's stories are comic moments inspired from real life events. The artwork is simple but engaging. The writing is clever and authentic. Every story is told almost entirely through dialogue, with a few thought balloons bridging the silences. The approach is ideal and keeps the action moving and the timing snappy. Overall this is an entertaining, funny auto-bio comic that's ahead of the pack.
--Reviewed by Richard Krauss
|from indy magazine, issue 18.|
Alright! A new autobiographical, self-published comic that clearly takes its cues from Pekar's work! The first two issues contain seven stories culled from the author's life, seven stories "slightly filtered and spruced up for maximum entertainment value," according to the talking head on the inside front cover of issue one. As with American Splendor, the stories here range from the mundane to the downright funny, but all seem to reveal the author's desire to expose himself in a public forum and to present the goings on in his life despite potential embarrassment. The narrative and pacing are generally quite solid, but the illustrations just can't keep up and occasionally slow the story down. This is an entertaining book, but with plenty of room for artistic development.
--Reviewed by Chris Waldron
|from factsheet five, issue 62, page 136.|
Autobio material with passable artwork and the usual frustration over women. His strip of an anguished crush on a librarian will sound familiar to many. Just substitute "coffee shop" for "library" and it becomes a universal story of unrequited love. After dwelling on his chance encounter for weeks, things didn't work out as he planned. Then, addressing the audience directly he says "Leave me alone. Go ask out your *own* library clerk." [Also in this issue is a] hilarious and utterly bizarre dream story that involved both his male and female roomies. Second issue just in is an even better full-length story of deciding whether to spend money on a hooker or not. It's really enthralling right up to the surprise ending.
--Reviewed by Christopher W. Becker
|from Small Press Feedback, issue #26.|
**** (out of *****)
I know this review has been a long time in coming. How do I know that? Well, I'm reviewing this in mid-magazine size and G. Fling has already put out the same book in full size [well, actually, I haven't! --g] and a second issue! Sheesh! Talk about being behind!
Well, I didn't want it to go much longer without me talking about the book some and giving it a thumbs up.
Flung is an autobiographical comic that has been "slightly filtered and spruced up for maximum entertainment value." With an intro like that, how could you not be intrigued?
The first issue contains several short strips, all told on a black background. The first talks about the "Music Thing" and going to meet a girl who Fling had been corresponding with via computer for awhile. She plays in a band and the band was going to be performing in town, so he & a buddy go down to see her. What could have been an exciting evening turns out to be rather uneventful, but it's much neater to see Fling tell it. (There's a one-panel scene on page 3 that is, alone, worth the price of admission!)
There are also tales of finding love at the library counter, strange dreams that involve close friends and more! All told in an intersting, slightly neurotic, but easily identifiable style.
The artwork, while really sharp in some parts, can be inconsistant. I really think his style of drawing is perfect for an autobiographical comic--i.e. very personal cartooning style--but, it does need some work and practice.
Overall, I thought Flung was a pretty good read. There's plenty to identify with and the light touches of humor throughout keep you interested. While G. Fling's life may not seem much more entertaining than anyone else's, his openness and candor in revealing his thoughts and feeling definitely are.
Looking forward to seeing more from him, too!
--Reviewed by Bob Elinskas
|from iCOMICS, 3/24/98|
FLUNG #1 & #2
These "every so often, but quarterly" mini-comics are from a man named G. Fling - a somewhat typical late-twenty-something caught in the Gen-X blues. "So, what's the big deal," you ask? Well, unlike the rest of us he's putting it down on paper so we can see it. Fling tells of his insecurities, his love life, and a bunch of other things that plague the modern American thirty-year-old who has been left stranded by the promise of a bright future. His insights are intersting. I only wish it were more involved or opinionated.
The art, although lacking polish, is simple and very endearing. This is not a fancy production. It's about a good guy telling his story. It's from the heart and that counts for a lot with me. Its is my hope that G. Fling keeps doing it.
--Reviewed by Scott Schreck
A show about nothing.
That's was how Jerry and George on Seinfeld described the pilot script they were pitching to NBC. But it was more than a clever plot point on a ridiculously successful sitcom. This short phrase, "a show about nothing," summed up the actual television show Seinfeld itself. It was a sitcom in which we saw the daily neurosis of archetypes we are all familiar with: the compulsive one, the weird one, the arrogant one, the paranoid one, etc. Seinfeld became a weekly pop cultural mirror in which we not only saw our friends and family, but occasionally ourselves reflected in as well. And we laughed at what we saw. But despite all of its societal implications and importance, in the end, it was still a show about nothing. Because it was a show about everyday life.
I've always believed that the best fiction and humor is based in credibility. We laugh the hardest, not at the absurd, but at things that we can relate to. Things that could happen to us, or have happened to us. Seinfeld did that. The writers of the show pulled out things from our monotonous, everyday existence, from the discomfort of watching people who can't dance to the power of Junior Mints, and made them funny. Why? Because we could all relate.
The 25-page black and white comic, Flung, hopes you can relate to this story "about nothing" as well.
Flung is a series of vignettes, almost snapshots of the life of the nameless, twentysomething protagonist. He likes "comix," has strange erotic dreams about his friends, and has difficulty talking with the opposite sex, even when they are outwardly interested in him. To paraphrase a line from the film Amadeus, Flung is about a guy who could be the patron saint of mediocrity. And despite the fact the fact that there aren't any laugh-out-loud, fall-down, grab-your-gut moments, I did find myself grinning and snorting slightly from time to time in amusement. The main reason? I could relate.
My favorite story in Flung is titled "Voyage to the Video Store." In it, the main character is faced with the same challenge I face every time I go to the video store: "What should I rent?" Watching a movie on video should be a mindless act, a time to reach that vegetative nirvana that comes with sticking a tape in the VCR. So why is picking out a movie such an arduous task?
Starting down the rows upon rows of movies at his deserted, local video store, the nameless main character decides to face "the ritual humiliation" of ducking into the "Adult" section ... just to look around of course. But as soon as he crosses the threshold into Porno-rama, the familiar "d-ding" of the store's main entrance sounds. Again. And again. Suddenly, our hero is trapped. After overhearing several conversations about the adult section ("gross," "eww" and "perverted"), he swallows his pride and slinks out the door without a movie. Not that that's ever happened to the Salmon, but, I uh ... feel his pain.
My biggest problem with this comic book is the fact that the nameless main character is NAMELESS! I was really hoping at some point one of the other many characters would eventually use his name. Though in the forward we are told that this is an autobiography, we have no credits to list who created this comic. Just because it's an alternative, underground or independent comic (or comix, as the writer of Flung calls it), that doesn't mean we don't care who made it! I've said it before, take some pride (and responsibility) for what you've done. Yes, there is an e-mail address, and even a snail-mail address listed on the inside front cover. But no names. Unless you create a comic while in the Witness Protection Program I don't see any reason to leave your name out of the credits.
The artwork is rather cartoony (witness the Little Orphan Annie eye circles), and would fit in nicely on the Sunday Comics page of your local newspaper. But it is accessible in its simplicity. The dialogue reads as realistic, even when the main character is addressing the reader in narrative. Occasionally, the dialogue becomes as little too casual and becomes difficult to read. The writer uses lots of words like "s'pose" rather than suppose and "figger'd" instead of figured. Rather than stream smoothly like real dialogue, I found myself getting stuck on these words from time to time, slowing down the flow of the story.
Flung works best is when the writer wasn't trying too hard for a punchline. For instance, at the end of the story, the narrator is complaining that he doesn't have an ending for the story he just told. In actuality, I felt like the story of failure with the cute comic-book-loving clerk at the local library ends nicely on the previous page with our hero walking down the street sighing heavily. Instead, the writer has him address the reader on the last page with "Don't follow me. ... Go watch Tee-Vee or something" as he disappears into the darkness of the panel. As in most things, less is usually more, and he could have stopped successfully on the previous page.
And besides that, there's nothing to watch on T.V. anymore. Not since that show about nothing went off the air.
* * * (out of a possible 5 stars)
--Reviewed by Randy Meyeres
©2009 G. Fling