I chose to review Frumious Bandersnatch because the name caught my eye. It’s one of the most wacky names for a zine I’ve encountered, drawing it’s name from a verse in Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky.” Unfortunately, the name is the best and brightest aspect of this comic zine.
First off, the table of contents is tacky and ill-conceived. The text boxes are multi-colored and at the bottom of the front page, so that you have to scroll down past the front-page material, devoted to satirical spoofs of headline news, to get to it. There’s a great deal of material though, and just when you think you’ve seen everything, you find four more sections.
Quantity, however, does not equal quality. Articles such as “How to Get Fired from Your Job,” “Are You a Technological Idiot? Take Our Tech Test,” “Laws of the City: A Beginner’s Guide to Urban Living,” “Chicago Rules for Political Fund Raising” and “How to Induce a State of Clinical Depression” are slightly funny but hardly uproariously hilarious. The material is quirky and complete with pseudofacts from General Delivery University. It’s like Mad TV â€“ amusing, but it doesn’t really cause out-of-control laughter. If you are in front of the CPU, freezing to death because your gas has been turned off, don’t count on this site to deliver the warmth of a good belly laugh.
Frumious is, sadly, only a soupy second cousin to The Onion, and whatever timely spoofs Frumious Bandersnatch delivers, The Onion can, and often does, dish out better. However, there are worse ways to waste your time â€“ sticking your tongue to a pole in below-freezing weather or watching Adam Sandler movies, for example. Take your pick.