The creator of the long running independent newsweekly strip, The City, has created a pitch perfect tale of the classic days of punk rock. Set in his home town of Akron, Ohio, in 1980, PR & TP gives us the senior year and then some of high school loser cum small-town-punk-rock-legend, Otto "The Baron" Pizcok. While the central narrative is entirely fictional, its setting is not, and Derf wryly captures the mid-Ohio ambience and recreates the hot and heavy scene at the main Akron club -- The Bank -- that was, at least for the time chronicled here, the center of the punk scene. Plot, pacing, characterization, the supporting cast -- all are spot on. Punk Rock and Trailer Parks will make for a thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone who likes comics and punk rock and will be a real thrill for anyone who remembers these days.
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Derf's dramatic and detailed accounting of the five days of protests at Kent State University that culminated in the killing of fours students (and the severely wounding of nine others) on May 4, 1970 is thorougly researched, heavily documented and deeply affecting. Originally scheduled to be released to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the killings, it was delayed due to the pandemic and has now been released to coincide with students "return" to school. Much has transpired in the intervening four months, making this 280 page hardcover volume even more relevant.
Here's an interview with Derf about Kent State, from back in February (when it was assumed the book would be released in May).