MY FRIEND stole a copy of the Cometbus Omnibus anthology from the bedroom of a shady anarchist in San Diego. She sent it to me with a card reading, "Now who doesn't believe in possessions?" A year later, a roommate's friend stole the anthology (and some other stuff) from me. My point is: Zine anthologies are awesome and everyone wants them.
Tim Goodyear's Video Tonfa collects more than 300 of his film reviews—self-published in zine format since 2009—with genres ranging from cult to smut to porn to art house to children's cartoon to popular release. I've interviewed Goodyear twice in the past year—once about Vision Quest, Portland's free comics newspaper that Goodyear co-publishes, and another time about the small comics press he runs, Teenage Dinosaur—and he never says what I expect him to say. This is also true of his reviews in Video Tonfa, which are both personal and unpredictably hilarious. I've reviewed films for my entire adult life and I still think sometimes the best review is a short handful of sentences delivered to a friend—like Goodyear's Care Bears review: "This movie [does] send some mix'd messages about magic & the occult. But that's ok."
A zine anthology represents years of work from the author and months of editing by a publisher. Video Tonfa takes this a little further. Published by local comic book shop and small press Floating World, owner/publisher Jason Leivian took the zines Goodyear often gave away for free and transformed them into a sort of art book. The aesthetic is wonderfully consistent—with VHS box art redrawn by Goodyear so that his notes and review are where where the film synopsis would normally be on that '80s media format. Every page is printed on the same bright, caution-yellow paper, giving it the heft of a beautiful phone book. Every review is hand-lettered by Goodyear, meaning a bunch of charming spelling errors—like "ocward" instead of awkward in his positive (!?) review of Catwoman—go uncorrected. Video Tonfa is a great read for film watchers, casual and cult-lover alike. But don't steal it!
by Tim Goodyear
(Floating World Comics) Release party and exhibit at Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch, Thurs May 5, 6-10 pm, free