Lot 15: Open Now!




Michael West was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but grew up in a small town in Arkansas where he learned the subtle art of trailer park living (his trailer actually was Lot 14, without the bar). As a lad West spent most of his time listening to O.G. rap: Doug E. Fresh, Public Enemy, BDP. “One day, like a punch in the face, I heard punk rock, wow!!! That was it for me, forever changed.” It wasn’t long before he started reading conspiracy theory books.

These days West plays drums in The Goodnight and listens to The Mountain Goats, Ted Leo, old-ass Bob Mould, Lungfish, Saturday Looks Good to Me, Tracker, The Weakerthans, and—still—The Dead Presidents soundtrack. You can see more of his work, including the daily strip Lot 14, at Top Soil Comics.

12 thoughts on “Lot 15: Open Now!”

  1. Ugh, CalebMac can’t even spell correctly in his (possibly unintentional) dis on what I feel is a great addition to GloNo. Cool comic, Michael! And besides, Caleb… none of us here have ever seen High Fidelity. Thanks for letting us know that movie existed; we’ll have to check it out…

  2. zing!

    anyway, yah michael this is cool. Keep it coming! Music and record stores are what it takes to get me interested in comics…

  3. still not remotely funny.

    where are the cats eating lasagna?

    where are the imaginary stuffed tigers tackling children?

    where is that crazy “not-me” character who causes all the trouble?

    seriously though, think of something funny and then draw it. don’t draw something and then try to wish it funny.

    (cue next poster to say ‘great comic! hilarious!! look out marmaduke!’)

  4. CalebMac may be spellcheck challenged, but he’s right. This is well-tilled territory, but it is the first day of the strip. I’m sure Family Circus didn’t reach the full height of its cutting satirical power until at least the fifth strip.

    A suggestion: Make the dude in the beard go to Starbucks to get a latte for the other dude and do a map with arrows of all of things distracting him on the way there and back. Now that’s funny, FC-style!

  5. Wow, sure does look obvious to me – a lot of people who spend way too much time “critiquing”. I guess all the time you spend being judgmental makes you experts on the subject of being mean. Thank god you don’t like the comic, otherwise you guys wouldn’t be able to practice your sassy humor at someone else’s expense.

    This comic sure does suck, doesn’t it. Someone should give you all your money back. You are right, the stuff you guys try to create must be lots better. Oh wait, are any of you comic critics actually doing anything creative that we could weigh Michael’s work up to? I mean after all, you guys must be awesome at something to validate your comments, right?

    Leave the guy alone. He’s just trying to get something started. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If you want to give him actual constructive criticism, go ahead. I’m sure he would appreciate it. But do you really think it makes any of you look smarter or funny to say, “Hey Micheal, why don’t you have the character make a crack about his wife’s cooking?” and “Hey Michael, why don’t you have the character complain to the complaint department?…Get it? I’m a mean and sassy online comic critic too!…get it? Its like the Lockhorns and Ziggy. I’m mean. I’m making a comparison to Michael’s comic and Ziggy…zing!” Come on, people.

  6. As the creator of Family Circus, I thought I was the one being made fun of, not Michael. Nice of you to defend him, Ryan, but I’m sure he’s thick-skinned enough to take some ribbing.

  7. dear ryan,

    if you would like me to send you a comic with a joke in it, let me know.

    some things you can’t get constructive criticism on. like ‘hey, stop being bad at guitar’ or ‘hey, make comics that are funny’.

    i think it would be mean not to point out that this comic isn’t funny. maybe it’s not supposed to be. who knows. art is subjective.

    speaking of which, please provide some constructive criticism on how to give constructive criticism. i intended mine to be helpful (joke first, then comic), but it was obviously deeply flawed. i’ve only learned not to make jokes about ziggy, and that’s not too helpful, because i like jokes about ziggy only slightly less than i like jokes about marmaduke.

  8. Bill Keane. You are probably right, i’m sure the creator can take a little flame. I’m only saying its really easy for people to throw mud instead of throw a little helpful support. And incidentilly, I liked your early funny stuff better.

    Noodles. You mentioned you would show me a comic with a joke in it. Just curious – what comic do you feel right now is really funny, without being drivel, pretentious, or just lame? I’m curious to see what standard we are going to hold Michael to.

  9. Wait a minute, Ryan. Are you arguing in your original post that you must be producing something deemed “creative” in order to criticize? Would noodles’ comments be any more valid if you found out they were actually written by Gary Trudeau, Lynda Berry, or Bill Keane? Noodles is ponying up comments as brutally honest and blunt as anything you’ll hear in a MFA workshop. And for free.

    All of this being said, if you follow the link to Top Soil Comics and look at the other Lot 14 strips (granted (and to my shame), I didn’t do this before I posted the first time), you’ll see that Michael’s been at this for a while, has a well-developed sense of what he’s shooting for, and as Bill Keane said, can probably take the ribbing.

  10. ryan – i meant i would think of a funny joke, then draw a picture of it, possibly with speech bubbles.

    pulcher – i did look at the other strip first, and also didn’t find any jokes.

    ack, i don’t wish to hold anyone to any standards. i just want stuff that is good.

    this is like if matchbox 20 was a comic. they don’t need to be the rolling stones or even the spin doctors. they just need to stop being matchbox 20.

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