Red Meat

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Red Meat
Author(s) Max Cannon
Current status / schedule Weekly
Launch date 1989
Genre(s) Comic strip

Max Cannon's Red Meat is an independent comic strip begun in 1989. It appears in over 75 alternative weeklies and college papers in the United States and in other countries.[1] Since 1996, it has been available for reading on the web.


The strip features a cast of characters with abnormal personalities. A visual hallmark of the strip is the almost total lack of movement of the characters from panel to panel and a "Featureless Void" of no background. Cannon has said that he wanted Red Meat "to have a look that was somewhere between clip art and arresting minimalism, so that the text was more important than the art itself".[2]

Red Meat features "slug lines" at the top of each comic which are frequently alliterative. For example, "Official pace car of the apocalypse" or "puckered piehole of the pointless".


Many of the strip's human characters are 1950s caricatures.

  • Bug-Eyed Earl – A demented person, slightly resembling Edgar Allan Poe or Charles Pierre Baudelaire but a lot more like Steve Buscemi. Earl's appearances generally involve him telling a surreal, strange, and usually disgusting anecdote.
  • Milkman Dan – The local milkman; eccentric and hostile towards people and animals, especially Karen, a neighborhood child. Constantly battling against sobriety. Dan also dresses as a cow in the part of McMoo, the anti-drug cow.[3][4]
  • Ted Johnson – Cannon has stated that Ted is based on his own father. He has a taste for gruesome sexual fetishes and cruel hobbies.


The strip was briefly picked up by The Arizona Daily Wildcat, the student run newspaper of the University of Arizona, in 1989. It was then picked up by the Tucson Weekly.[5]

Cannon is also creator of the Comedy Central animated webshow Shadow Rock (based on the Red Meat strip). The 10 episodes are now available on[6]

In 2009, Max Cannon urged his readers to contact the editors of their local alternative weekly papers in an effort to save the comics printed within.[7]

Three collections of the strips have been released:


  1. ^ Lambiek comic shop and studio in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2007-09-21). "Comic creator: Max Cannon". Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  2. ^ "Max Cannon: You 'Have To Be a Little Crazy' to Draw Alt Comics | Association of Alternative Newsweeklies". 2006-04-28. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  3. ^ "Tramp Steamer in Your Soup Kitchen". Red Meat. 2003-08-26. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  4. ^ "The Antidote for Pleasant Moments". Red Meat. 1997-11-24. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  5. ^ "More meat amassed". Reno News & Review. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  6. ^ "Shadow Rock". Atom. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  7. ^ "An URGENT Message from Max Cannon to All RED MEAT Readers: The Alternative Comics Apocalypse Has Begun". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 

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