In our annual Best Of issue, published April 25, City Pages gave the Best Locally Generated Blog (Right-Wing) award to faithmouse.com, the home of a strange comic that stars a Christian rodent with a supporting cast that includes ACLU Ferret, Gay Bear, and an aborted fetus named Neverborn.
This caught the attention of the Minneapolis cell of the "International Cartoonist Conspiracy," a loose affiliation of comic artists who get together once a month to create a collaborative strip. They chose Faith Mouse as the topic of their next jam, and sent us the outcome, which could best be described as "Mickey Mouse meets Hieronymus Bosch."
This got us thinking about what the artists might produce if they had more time and the promise of seeing print in City Pages. After all, comics and journalism have an illustrious history. Back in 1992, Art Spiegelman's Maus was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize, and more recently, Joe Sacco has won acclaim for graphically chronicling life in the war-torn regions of Palestine and Bosnia.
So we asked the cartoon conspirators to turn their talents to telling True Tales of the Twin Cities. In "True Tales of Tenth and Nicollet," Kevin Cannon leads a tour of all the banal and bizarre experiences he's had on the titular piece of urban real estate. Bud Burgy finally solves the long-standing problem of trying to catch a cab in downtown Minneapolis in "Yomanni." And Steven Stwalley's "The Mall of America Mandrill" tries to start a brand-new urban legend about a pasta-hungry primate.
These are just three of the eclectic comics printed in the following pages. The strips are as varied in their interpretation of the theme as they are in their art styles, but what they all have in common is that they offer a fresh view of the cities we call home.