Somatic Comic Review of “Rat Poison #4” by Louis S. Whiteford
Louis S. Whiteford "Rat Poison #4" Self Published, 2014
For this one, find a primo back alley. The grimier the better. There should be plenty of trash on the ground, broken glass, oil-slicked puddles, abandoned needles; the whole lot. Plant yourself by a dumpster, preferably overflowing, with the most repulsive odor that you can possibly find. You should be unable to avoid deep whiffs of rotting produce, mold, decay. Take a quick look inside, there should be slime: if there’s no slime in the dumpster, move along and find an even filthier spot. This is a gross, dirty comic, and the environ should reflect that.
Light a cigarette. Even if you don’t smoke, just for the ambiance, as an incense of sorts. Light a whole pack on fire if you can, the air should be thick with gray, cancerous fumes. A 40 oz. would help too, getting a good buzz on will probably help with your enjoyment of the comic, but otherwise just sprinkle some malt liquor in a circle around your reading spot, as a sort of ritualistic sealing of the space with the scent of spilled beer, garbage, and smoke.
Now that you’ve settled into the most disgusting, gross space you can find, it’s time to crack open the comic. You’ll immediately be swept up into the wyrd tales contained within: Kelsey Grammar leading a bleak existence on a secluded vineyard; pissed off queer punks yelling at bourgeois children; fucked up scientists creating murderous, mutant animals with an insatiable thirst for beer and cocaine. Really gross, disgusting stuff; if you were able to manage to keep your dinner down over the sights and scents of the back alley haunt you’ve established for the reading, good luck making it from one cover to the other without retching at the contents within. The stories all tangled up with each other, no victories for any of the characters, misanthropy abounds, great for a wistful punk on a quiet evening who digs hanging around trash and being a trash person.
REVIEW BY ROBBY FRIEDLEN