The first of what is sure to be many Seattle-area periodicals trying to fill the void left by shuttered comics anthology Intruder has arrived, accompanied by a fart noise. The first issue of Fart Magazine, edited by Mark Allender, includes contributions from Intruder contributors like Marc Palm and Seth Goodkind.
Unlike Intruder, Fart isn’t an all-comics joint; magazine-like, it features text pieces (essays from contributors like Emmett Montgomery and Elicia Sanchez) and a celebrity interview (with comedian Brian Posehn). Also, unlike Intruder, Fart has a central theme: most of the pieces have to do with farts, or poo jokes, or both. Truth in advertising lives! (Though Sanchez contributes an essay on queefs, which may or may not fit the criteria, depending on how you feel about it. Sanchez herself chafes when the two are compared; it’s kind of the point of the essay.)
Intruder thrived in part because of its unique specifications: every artist could fill a full-sized tabloid newspaper page any way they wished. The artists in Fart — the fartists? — are not necessarily limited to a single page, and a bit of restraint might have been useful; the pacing of the issue is a little strange. At four pages, a strip about orc roommates feels too long, for instance, while another single-page gag strip involving potty humor and suicide is very funny but might have benefitted from more space.
But the grade-schooler in me is in love with the idea of a magazine called Fart, and the exuberance of the issue, the willingness to commit to the joke, is truly impressive. The magazine could use a stronger editorial hand. Palm had a knack of getting the most —the absolute best work — out of his contributors, but Fart has a couple of subpar strips that could’ve used some more time, some more talent, or both.
But so much depends on the future of Fart. You couldn’t tell just from the first issue of Intruder that something neat was happening; only the accrual of more issues made it into a legend. If we see more issues of Fart that continue to hew to the gassy theme while upping the quality of the contributions a little bit, this could be something special. Not that there’s anything wrong with a funny one-off; it’s just there’s a promise to Fart that would be a shame to waste. Twenty issues of a magazine about farts and fart-related topics? That’s the kind of commitment that turns heads.