Comics Punk Stripper

Comics Punk Stripper
As a talented cartoonist and obsessive punk rock fanatic, Mitch Clem has bridged his loves through his wildly popular web comic Nothing Nice To Say. Centred around Blake and Fletcher, two lovable but often moronic best friends who live in Minneapolis, the strip follows them as they attend shows, start bands, nerd out over records, and encounter everyone from feminists to emo kids to straight-edge hardcore meatheads. No aspect of the punk subculture is left unscathed. "I realized that the entire punk scene was rife with potential to be mined for comedy, and I hadn't really seen it done too many times before,” Clem says. When a friend introduced him to web comics, he was hooked. "It was cheaper than printing a zine and people would actually look at it instead of throwing it on the floor after a show,” he says.

Thanks to Dark Horse Comics, who contacted Clem as fans earlier this year, a collection of the strip’s 2005 run has been released in book form for the first time. Along with a year of strips, the book also includes redrawn efforts that introduce the characters as well as 40 pages of guest spots Clem has done for other strips. In keeping with the strip’s punk rock nature, the book is the same size as a seven-inch record, and its cover art features über-nerdy references to Minor Threat, Descendents, Ben Weasel, and other legendary punk figures.

Of course, the shift to a larger publisher just begs to be labelled "sell-out,” and that’s something Mitch has come to accept. "I'm sure people will call me a sell-out, that's just how punk rock works,” he admits. "[But] the real world still doesn't know or care who I am, and I'm not gonna end up doing a cameo at the end of Rat Race or anything like that.