BEST ZINE (2002)

Frank Yost

Any homemade, black-and-white comic book that opens with the words Minneapolis, two weeks into the start of WWIII... and then shows an image of a destroyed downtown skyline deserves some credit for capturing the Zeitgeist. Yet this tale of adolescent apocalypse survivors (available at zine haven Dreamhaven Books & Comics in Uptown) is as baffling on second glance as it is intriguing on the first. The titular heroine and hero are drawn by writer-artist Frank Yost in the doll-eyed, gape-mouthed style of action-crammed Japanese manga. And they exclaim stuff like "Holy guacamole!" Yet neither engages in anything like an adventure. Mostly the two just hang around: After fleeing the deserted city (and a crew of zombies), the duo retreats with candy bars into a train-tunnel hideout. Once there, Cookie and Butch lean against a jukebox, play pocket video games, and read a superhero comic titled The Incredible Fantastic Invincible Amazing Spectacular Guy. (The comic-within-a-comic also features a female sidekick with a less impressive title, "Super-Duper Chick," though Cookie notes that her "boobies are big enough for three women or more.") Hence the climax of this lovingly illustrated Twilight Zone episode turns out to be kids sitting around reading comics, followed by a " be continued" in the final panel and a postscript explaining why Yost is giving up drawing comics altogether. Is he putting us on? Is this the final yawp of some shut-in pop junkie? Either way, the drawings are hilarious.


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