Al Burian Goes To Hell
I’ve enjoyed Burian’s work for a while now, and I liked this, but I don’t recommend buying this. Hear me out;
Years ago, I went to a reading at Bluestockings in Manhattan, with Jessica Hopper and Al Burian. School had just finished, which put me in the post-graduate funk of being excited that I had a lot of free time again, but unsure of what the next step in my life would be. I was already familiar with both of their contributions to Punk Planet, particularly Hopper’s. But Al immediately won me over with his tales of playing in punk bands and traveling around the world in between odd temp jobs. I listened intently, thinking “that’s the life,” trying to figure out how to live my own life like that as I rode the train back into the New Jersey suburbs.
Fast forward to present day — I get home after sleeping on a friend’s in Queens on the last night of a tour, rushing to make it to the office while I can still squeeze in some hours. As I sit in my chair, answering a phone to direct angry office drones, I can barely keep my head up. I’m reminded of that reading in particular, and the irony suddenly dawns on me: “I’ve accomplished that dream. And it kind of sucks.”
Then this shows up on my door — It’s Burian’s reinterpretation of Dante’s Inferno, in comic form. I get excited, and start to flip through it, thinking it’s a genius concept. A dark contrast to idealistic dreams. Then I did a quick internet search, only to find that this particular book is actually a bootleg. Apparently someone got a hold of what was originally a college art project, and turned it into a book without permission. Bummer.
That said, seeing as I’d already read through it anyway (and, technically enjoyed it, and think it’s pretty great for something done at twenty two), I’ll just encourage you to check out some of his other stuff, be it his Burn Victim zine, or Things Are Meaning Less comic. That way, everyone wins.