Lemuria / Mitch Clem - Turnstile Comix #3 [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Lemuria / Mitch Clem

Turnstile Comix #3 [7-inch] (2014)

Silver Sprocket

Lemuria has taken some novel approaches to releasing their music this year. First there was the surprise 7-inch bundle, a grab bag of rarities fans could pre-order. Then came the tour 7-inch, a record that could only be obtained by purchasing tickets for the band’s fall tour. Now comes the latest twist: Turnstile Comix #3, a comic book/7-inch split with artists Mitch Clem and Nation of Amanda. Previous installments for the Slow Death and World/Inferno Friendship Society were tops, and Lemuria’s issue is just as strong.

Clem has gotten more comfortable with long-form storytelling. Every issue of Turnstile Comix has been a series of vignettes, but this one flows perfectly as one continuous arc. While the art was was a little thrown together (by Clem’s own admission, he straight up forgot about a character), the comic is still a hilarious look at Lemuria’s haphazard tour of Russia. Clem injects enough of himself into the book to provide context for what Lemuria means to him, and then sends the band off on a series of adventurous adventures. I don’t know if the members are this surreal in reality, but I need them to be. Whether dodging Russian mobsters or petting an obscene number of dogs, the whole issue is packed with goofy charm and a rapid fire blast of jokes. This feels like a funny story shared between friends.

The songs are nifty too. The production feels a lot drier and less flashy than some of Lemuria’s last few records, but the hooks still hit the same. Sheena Ozzella sings about self-doubt humorously on “Christine Perfect”: “I’m a Christie McVie / I feel the weight of her world / I find comfort in being second best.” The flip side, “Foggy Smoke,” is a lot less fun: “I wouldn’t dip my toes in you.” Lemuria has always had a knack for weirdly specific put-downs. Digital bonus track “Courtesy Mercedes” finishes off the collection, making for another satisfying release for both Lemuria and Turnstile Comix.