It's hard to recall a time when Steven Weissman's adorable and idiosyncratic cartoon creations weren't a part of our lives, hustling about "Milltown," perfectly drawn and perfectly awful. The cast seemed to appear fully formed by the end of the 1990s, and ready for their "close up." Every success story has its humble — or arrogant and mean-spirited — beginnings, and now Fantagraphics Books is tickled pink to present Mean, collecting Weissman's early, self-published, unpublished, and otherwise rare "Yikes" comics. Enjoy your favorite characters' awkward, embarrassing first appearances; watch them stumble from their early, crude glory into their mature sadistic and masochistic selves. Li'l Bloody and the Pullapart Boy steal candy, X-Ray Spence answers his fan mail, and Kid Medusa falls in love (twice!). Early critical attention, while overwhelmingly positive, often questioned what Weissman "was on" when he came up with these odd tales of young friendship. Read Mean and guess for yourself.