Tag Archives: Tom Manning


ERIC  eric
Robots and Monkeys
(W/A) Tom Manning
BW, 80 pgs $5.00 US

Two years after the final chapter of Runoff, Tom Manning returns to comics with ERIC, a brief, weird and ultimately successful sophomore effort that showcases the creator’s range as a storyteller, yet feels somehow slight when viewed in the context of his previous work.

As a follow-up to the critically acclaimed Runoff, comparisons are inevitable.  And while ERIC’s story begins with scenes of a supernatural ritual reminiscent of Manning’s previous tale, it quickly shifts in tone to a character-driven story told on a much smaller scale.  There are no complex mysteries or talking animals; just a sad, burned-out pop musician dealing with faded glory, paranoia and a loose grip on reality.

Eric himself is introduced through a new compilation CD that spans the highs and lows of his career through the decades, before being revealed as a paunchy, drug-addled hippie unable to cope with the world around him.  He’s a strange hybrid of sixties musicians – think Brian Wilson, Jimmy Buffet and Bob Dylan – living in a small California apartment and grappling with increasing irrelevance and chemical dependency.  As his mind slowly unravels, it’s clear his best days are behind him and his future is bleak.  He’s a relic from another era, and his only escape from a society that has passed him by is to find solace and shelter in an altered reality. Continue reading ERIC