Longshot Comics

Each issue of this unique title is 3,840 half-inch-square panels of nothing but dots talking to each other. The concept is that everyone is drawn so far away that all you can see is a dot. And the dots do stuff. Like smack each other, or give birth, or die. It’s brilliant, it’s hilarious, and it’s mind-blowing.

Longshot Comics sample page

Issue one features “life, death, adventure, romance, intrigue (well, maybe not so much intrigue), conflict, resolution, more conflict, three wars, and a cast of thousands spanning 89 years in the British Empire”. Our hero Roland is born into a British mining family of twelve sons. He gets married, gets fired, joins the army, goes to war, raises kids and grandkids, and finally dies, all in a rather Monty Python-esque fashion. We also get metaphysics, religion, politics, and sadism (in the form of British school paddling).

Issue two continues the tale with his grandson Bradley, from his illegitimate birth in the South of Spain, through World War II and his move to Hollywood, to retirement in Canada.

There’s nothing else like this in comics. Simmons has figured out how to tell an epic story of a life in one regular-sized comic by making the pictures as absolutely minimal as possible. And yet, you can still tell what the dots are supposed to be doing! These books are pure genius.

You can buy copies from Shane Simmons’ web site. Simmons followed this up with the five-issue Money Talks miniseries, in which he uses figures photocopied from various kinds of paper money to tell a story of family betrayal and greed. Here’s a Comics Journal review.


5 Responses to “Longshot Comics”

  1. Rob Staeger Says:

    I loved Longshot comics — but I thought there was only one! I’ll check my longboxes to make sure I haven’t forgotten issue two, but a purchase might be in my future!

  2. Madinkbeard » 150 panels of Concrete Says:

    [...] I can’t off the top of my head think of other pages with this many panels (a question that came up on the list), books like Ninja reach 50 and Mister O has 60 per page. Though something like Longshot Comics where the style is an extreme form of minimalism could pack a lot into tiny panels like that, most comics would reach incoherence at that level. [Edit: There's a 160 panel page from Longshot Comics in this review.] [...]

  3. The Desert Peach #16, Page 4 | The Desert Peach Webcomic Says:

    [...] This is what happens to perspective when you’ve been drawing for years.  Everything in the background looks like something out of Longshot Comics. [...]

  4. Ed Meaks Says:

    OMG These comics were genius! Why is it that all the good comics die young? I expected more. Did the genius dry up, or was he Swallowed by the Corporate Gods?

  5. Johanna Says:

    An old interview I found said that he was writing for kids’ TV in Canada.

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