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While most 1980s-themed art revisits Care Bears, Ninja Turtles and Mister Dressup, just to get all nostalgic about pre-teendom without telling us anything new, John Bride does quite the opposite.

Here we go behind the scenes of a Mario Bros. game, only to learn that Mario himself is a Napoleon-esque megalomaniac, the goombas are shy, and the turtles are just plain pissed off for doing all the dirty work (mostly the bricklaying, which there is so much of). “Wealthy?!” one yells to control freak Mario. “You’re only rich because we leave coins in the sky for you.”

Keeping with Bride-like themes, there are other stories in this comic zine of hypnotism, psychic charisma and lucid dreaming. But the best part is by far what Bride expects us to know, in little priceless inserts. Like when Mario eats a flower on fire, he writes: “Insert fire power sound effect.” And when he eats a mushroom, it’s “insert growing large sound effect.” Just goes to show, that those of us who grew up in the 1980s can still connect in an obvious but private way, and with Bride’s insight, it’s not just touched upon, but deconstructed. (Nadja Sayej)

Comic zine, John Bride, issue 1, $5,

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