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SATURDAY

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You may remember his vivid, cubist drawings from “The Kindly Ones,” the penultimate Sandman collection. Or perhaps you came across the comics series Gregory, which he wrote and drew, about an insectoid, triangle-headed infant confined to a loony bin because either he or everyone else is psychotic. Whatever his venue, Marc Hempel draws witty, scabrous, deceptively simple characters doing the sorts of things we’re ashamed to admit, but tend to do. This local (Baltimore) boy’s new self-published title, Tug & Buster, lets the id fantasies fly. Buster’s an enthusiastic, pint-size toughie for whom there’s no more glorious image of perfect masculinity than his friend and idol Tug, a hairy, hunky, totally silent lug whose greasy quiff has a tendency to burst into flames—thanks to an ever-present cigarette. Along with their pals Stinkfinger and Genital Ben, these guys poke into all the dirty corners of modern manhood, and what they find is uproarious, awful, absurd, and sometimes sad. Hempel signs T&B from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at Dreaming City Comics, 2617 Columbia Pike, Arlington. FREE. (703) 521-0608. (Arion Berger)