Reluctant Sadist was a digest-size alt comic book 'zine created by artist/writer Hal Weaver that was published on an irregular schedule from 1985 to 1989.
Eight issues were printed, including an "Omnibus edition" that collected the best work from the first three issues with additional material published in other 'zines. Reluctant Sadist typically featured weird, surreal and humorous artwork and stories mostly written and drawn by Hal Weaver, but there were a few outside contributors including Levy and Levi Rowland (artwork issue #2), John Verhulst (writing, issue #4), Brad Foster (writing/artwork, issue #5), and Michael Wingfield (writing, issue #7). Content of each issue is as follows;
- Issue #1 (November 1985)
- Four pages, all art and writing by Hal Weaver. Front Page, comic style poem "Gin". Page two, full page illustration, "Then they ripped him apart". Page three, full page illustration, "U-Haul". Back page, comic style poem "The World is a great ball of chaos and confusion...".
- Issue #2 (February 1986)
- Four pages. Front cover, full page illustration by Hal Weaver, "Metal Monster vs. the Uber Slug". Page two, full page illustration by Levy Rowland, "On the Road". Page three, full page illustration by Levi Rowland, "Alien Conquest". Back page, one page comic story by Hal Weaver called "Padded Cell Blues".
- Issue #3 (July 1986)
- Eight pages. Front cover, full page illustration by Hal Weaver, "War Torn Maniacs". Pages one through six featured the first multi-page comic book story by Hal Weaver called "Artistic Delusion". Back cover was a one page comic by Hal Weaver called "Pintos of the Gods".
- Issue #4 (December 1986)
- Eight pages. Front cover, full page illustration by Hal Weaver, "3-D Speed Freak". Pages one through six featured a multi-page comic book story by Hal Weaver called "Reality Doldrums" which introduced reoccurring characters "3-D Speed Freak" and his sidekick "Sam". This was the first part of a two part story that continues in issue #5. The back cover was a one page comic called "Gregor Samsa on the Dating Game" that was written by John Verhulst and illustrated by Hal Weaver.
- Issue #5 (April 1987)
- The first twelve-page issue that featured a full page illustration by Hal Weaver that was hand colored (limited to the first one hundred copies, signed and numbered). Pages one through ten continued the "Reality Doldrums" story, written and drawn by Hal Weaver, from issue #4. The back page was a one page comic written and illustrated by Brad Foster called "Starhead plunges into modern commerce".
- Issue #6 (November 1987)
- Twelve pages. Front cover, full page illustration by Hal Weaver, "The Dark Man Takes a Ride". Pages one through eleven featured the dark, surreal comic story "Night Vision", written and drawn by Hal Weaver. The characters of 3-D Speed Freak and Sam appear again. This comic was the basis for a short Super8 movie starring Colin Martin (played "Sam" and wrote/performed the soundtrack music) and Hal Weaver (wrote/directed/edited and acted in the role of "3-D Speed Freak") of the same name that can be found on YouTube.
- Issue #7 (January 1989)
- Sixteen pages. Front cover, full page illustration by Hal Weaver, "The Baby Photo". Inside cover was a written intro by Hal Weaver called, "I Got a Mojo Bag". Pages two through six featured a multi-page comic book story by Hal Weaver called "Penny Eyes, Money Teeth" a non-linear Twilight Zone style tale. Pages seven through sixteen are a surreal, beat poetry style story called "Dry With the Threadbare Towel", written by Michael Wingfield and Hal Weaver with drawings by Hal Weaver. This piece was also performed live by Michael Wingfield and Hal Weaver (with music by Colin Martin) once in Norfolk, Virginia in 1990. This was the final issue.
- "Omnibus" edition (August 1988)
The Omnibus edition of RELUCTANT SADIST that ran sixteen pages. The front cover was a new, full page illustration by Hal Weaver called, "Willard Scott". Page one was an introduction by Hal Weaver that is dated July 30, 1988. Pages two through five are a reprint of issue #1. Pages six and seven are reprints of the front and back pages from issue #2. Pages eight through fourteen are a reprinting of the issue #3, including the front cover and story "Artistic Delusion". The back cover was a new, one page comic written by Michael Wingfield and drawn by Hal Weaver called "Land of the Giant Blues".
Reviews and Other Publications Reviews of Reluctant Sadist appeared in Factsheet Five], Small Press Comics Explosion, Comics F/X and Metro Riquet. Hal Weaver's comic art and writing also appeared in some of the following self-published 'zines in the late 1980s and early 1990s; "Zabawny", "Zombie Vomit", "Dinky Stories", "NERVE", Dementia", Brad Foster's "STUFF", "SAMIZINE" (part of an art gallery showing of underground comics at the Minor Injury Art gallery in Brooklyn, NY), "Punk Ninja", "Wanton Carruba", "Psychedelic Experience" and "Tel Quel".
Current Info Currently Hal Weaver is writing a book called "The Reluctant Sadist and Other Wanderings in the Comix Underground" which will reprint the entire run of Reluctant Sadist and will also serve as an artistic autography.