I really need to stop reading f***** up comics before bed — they give me surreal and stressful dreams. Zak Sally's Sammy the Mouse is set in a Dr. Suess-ian wasteland where both its characters (drunk and depressed takes on ahem more famous cartoons) and architecture (a bar shaped like a giant baby?!) are unstable and untrustworthy. The Twin Peaks-ian atmosphere is grim and full of page-to-page WTF, but also darkly funny, as an unknown force escalates the absurdity to pull the titular mouse out of its ennui — Waiting for Godot's namesake as a sado-masochistic nihilist, jabbing its god-like finger in your ribs. Zak's artwork is grotesque, yet vivid — some scenes made me recoil with horror, others made me gawk in wonder. (And if Zak's name sounds familiar, he was the bassist for Low, one of my all-time favorite bands, from 1994-2005. He currently fronts the AmRep't rockers The Hand.) I just devoured all three volumes, which you can buy as a bundle, over a few days, which was a mistake for my sleepytime. —Lars Gotrich
P.S.: I'm on this week's episode of All Songs Considered, sharing new music by Julie Christmas, Hayden Pedigo and the Rắn Cạp Đuôi collective. I also gush about GRAMMOFON - MISSIONEN, a 328-page book filled with 777 (!) private-press album covers of the Christian music scene in Sweden.
Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective, "What Cherubs"
Lauren Bousfield, "Heasdstone Prices on Credit"
Police and Pea, "The Civilized Were Burned to Death"
Lanayah, "Knife, Mirror"
Buggin, "All Eyes on You"
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, "Dínamo"
Ragnar Johnson & Jessica Mayer, "Uko"
Olaf Dreijer & Mount Sims, "Hybrid Fruit"
Dania, "I Don't Understand My Own Language"
Home Is Where, "yes! Yes! a thousand times yes!"
Adele H, "Women's Power"
Corvair, "Right Hook"
Sharpless, "People in Love"
Sweeping Promises, "Eraser"
Chaba Fadila, "Ki Kount"
Conditioner Disco Group, "Illusion of Choice"
Jeromes Dream, "South by Isolation"
Agriculture, "Look, Pt. 1"
Erica Dawn Lyle, "The Secret Life of Plants"
Ben Vida w/ Yarn Wire & Nina Dante, "Who's Haunting Who Here"
Khemmis, "In the Pines"
Kaatayra, "Boca que se Engole"
Meta_, "Fuego Sagrado"
Long Beard, "Posters"
KT Kink, "Rockets"
Tomáš Šenkyřík, "Bombina bombina"
The Hand, "Get Naked"
Patrick Shiroishi, "Syzygy"
DELCO MF'S, "DREAMLAND"
Dipygus, "Living Fossil"
The Soft Pink Truth, "Is It Going to Get Any Deeper Than This? (Zero Draft)"