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The Lockeroom #3

a return to absurdity rules the roost

read The Lockeroom #3 as a PDF (right click to save)

I'm proud to say that I drew the cover to this issue. I'm not so proud to say that the cover kinda sucks. It's a mashup of superhero comic book tropes (large in your face logo and a catch phrase) and two derivative characters. I'm not sure what's funny about Sven and Blimpy. It's not an interesting or even aesthetically pleasing drawing.

I got one thing right, however -- the name of the zine is finally spelled correctly on the cover. In retrospect, it makes the whole series seem even more tongue-in-cheek and funny because the spelling of "lockeroom" keeps changing on every cover. But at the time it really pissed me off!!

If the previous issue of The Lockeroom was a shift towards hyperlocal cultural commentary, then #3 is a distinct return to the extreme absurdness of the first issue. Josiah Simmons does an incredible re-lettering of a comic strip about Whitney's Mom trading cards* series II. Matt Rosini draws a fantastically cracked out mad scientist. And I returned to a joke from the first issue, Extreme Pirate of the Month.

This time the Extreme Pirate is none other than Conrad Knapp, my next door neighbor and Lockeroom collaborator. This page is pretty indicative of the high-level absurdity that's going on in this issue.

And then there's the memes. Not really known as memes back then, but memes nonetheless. In the vein of Maxim and other men's magazines that featured lists of edgy jokes, The Lockeroom #3 has a page of Star Wars jokes found on the internet and a list of wacky pickup lines written by fellow classmate Matt Woodward. There's also this strange rant about dead monkeys, which I think was a joke email that was making the rounds at the time. But I could be wrong. Maybe it's original!

Sadly, this issue is where The Lockeroom began to lose steam. I think Josiah and I sensed that we needed some creative re-invigoration. That's why we came up with the idea of The Lumberjack, a new zine you see advertised a few times in the pages of #3.

The concept was simple: a parody of masculine North American culture. It would be full of burly men doing burly things, with stories about bears and forests and I dunno what else. I was really really into the idea. And I began to save images from magazines that would go along with the theme, psyching myself up for this new parody zine.

Unfortunately, as it often is with creative shit like this, it was hard to keep it going. We'd already produced three strong issues of The Lockeroom. Plus we had homework and girlfriends and other shit going on that teens care about. Which is why The Lumberjack never happened. And also why this was the final numbered issue of The Lockeroom.

But not the last! Next up is the final issue -- The Lost Issue -- and it might even be our best.

*Whitney's Mom trading cards are this incredible thing that Josiah and some friends created in high school. They found a high school yearbook photo of our buddy Whitney Tesler's mom, photocopied it, put weird sayings underneath the photo (like "octopus pie" or something along those lines), and then handed them out to friends. The ultimate in DIY trading cards!!!