Erik posted on Instagram something like “I bet nobody will buy my comic based on this post,” and I, of course, took the bait. Now I’m hooked! Jurassic Soup is a 6×6 inch 72 page saddle stitched full color book with a plastic-like (plike) soft-touch cardstock cover.
The comix themselves were created between 2019 and 2021. They have a cast of reoccurring characters that are very enduring in an irreverent sort of way. There’s Owen, the self-conceited aspiring bird actor. His introvert friend, Chris, and a hygiene-challenged druggy vampire named Toddula. This cast of 3 appear in numerous strips throughout the book. The “UFO Bros” are a duo that remind me a bit of Kaput and Zosky, but without any goals to become overlords. In fact, Cap and Leafly are just peace-loving dudes who find themselves in wacky situations as they road trip around the cosmos. And finally there’s “The Scoop!” with Sandra Spoonelli. This is probably my favorite of the reoccurring strips because … it’s just so dumb. Sandra is a reporter journalist. She’s also just a spoon with a microphone. ‘Nuf said.
The format is 4 same-size square panels per page, and the story or gag rarely goes longer than 1 page. This is the result of our social media-influenced media dump where we, the audience, can’t handle long-form comics that we read on the internet. As a result, lots of comix that get their start on places like Instagram are designed for quick consumption. It’s not anybody’s fault. There’s just so much out there that we would get lost trying to follow long form stories. Also, this is no different than what we consumed when comic strips were in newspapers. Who was actually able to keep up with Terry and the Pirates anyway? But we could handle a week’s theme of Peanuts (or just jump in on any given day and read the daily for what it had to give as a stand-alone). And mini comics … traditionally were 4 pages folded from a single sheet of paper. Long form also is not something mini comics do very much either.
The timeline that these comix were created makes for an interesting perspective on the times we’ve lived in recently. You can see Jasek’s slow shift into mentioning themes related to social isolation due to the pandemic. And of course, Owen Owens, Chris, and Toddula are mature enough to handle life on life’s terms, right? Get the book and you’ll see for yourself.