100 Indie Comics part 3

This is the third part of my read-through of the 100 comics in the Comixology SXSW Submit bundle. Here are part one and part two.

Let’s get to it…

  1. Kinds of Blue: An Anthology of Comics About Depression. This one strikes a little close to home. I’m not sure there’s anything new about depression here, but it may be a case of preaching to the choir. It is very well done.
  2. Kung Fu Skratch! #1. I can’t help but be reminded of Samurai Champloo by the title and presentation, and the art could have come straight from an issue of Shonen Jump. It doesn’t really work for me, but all of the ingredients are there for a solid manga.
  3. Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl #1. I like the art and coloring. The words, not so much.
  4. Life Begins at Incorporation. Political cartoons. And like many of their ilk, too on the nose for my taste, even though my politics are similar. Includes many essays to accompany the cartoons. In case they weren’t clear enough? Tough sell for me, and didn’t pull it off.
  5. M3 # 1. The art and layout in this is wonderful. But I don’t care for revenge thrillers.
  6. Minor Acts of Heroism #1. Ferguson & Van Dam. This one didn’t look promising, but it quickly won me over. The dialogue is snappy, and the artwork flows nicely. The concept of the children of superheroes is also interesting and not done to death. There is a pretty good chance I’ll be picking up further issues of this.
  7. Moth City Season 1 Part 2. I’m not sure why the sampler included the second issue rather than the first. I’d bought the first separately ages ago and never picked up any more, and was a little foggy on what had gone before but didn’t refresh my memory before reading this one. It quickly came back to me why I hadn’t bought any more, although then as now, I was torn over the decision. See, the artwork is wonderful. It deftly uses the digital format to deliver something like the “motion comics” that I’ve seen advertised but never tried. There is a car chase sequence at the beginning that is in many ways more thrilling than what a big budget movie could pull off. But the end of the issue returns to the cardboard characters talking about a complicated plot that quickly loses my interest. I’m again tempted to buy another issue, because the action scenes are so good that it might just outweigh the ponderous writing.
  8. Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman. I think there’s something here, but it doesn’t work for me.
  9. Murder She Writes. Stopped on page 13. Not bad, wasn’t working for me.
  10. Mysteryman. I’m a sucker for stories about the McCarthy era, but in these 12 pages that just seems to be background setting for a typical vigilante story.
  11. Nathan Sorry. Stopped on page 18. Not bad, but lost me with tying 9/11 into an apparent embezzlement story.
  12. Orphans # 1. Typical evil government/corporation vs. rogue genetically modified super-soldiers, but it’s pretty well done, and there’s a nice twist at the end that the two “mutants” (for want of a better word) end up with an infant from the breeding program. Potentially interesting set-up.
  13. Quandary # 1.
  14. Raven Nevermore # 1. I’m afraid I’m starting to sound like a broken record, praising the artwork and being critical of the writing, but again, this comic has good art in a well-realized pseudo-Victorian setting, marred by a cliched plot–the gung-ho cop who is married to the job clashing with an organized mob that punishes his ignored family for tangling with them.
  15. Relaunch # 1. Perazza & Govar. I really liked this. The art is crisp and realistic, and it uses the same digital storytelling method as Moth City. Unfortunately, it’s very short and there appear to be no further issues.
  16. Rocket Queen and The Wrench # 1. Not bad really, but nothing here that pulled me in.
  17. Rockstar Scientists # 1. WTF?
  18. Rogues! # 1. Originally a Spanish comic. The cheesecake quotient is high, with lots of gratuitous nudity and impractical female fantasy hero attire, but the art is detailed and dynamic. Unfortunately, this artist (Juan Jose Ryp) apparently doesn’t return for subsequent issues. The story is not bad, either, for a sword & sorcery tale that doesn’t take itself too seriously, something of a low rent, bawdy, half-gender-switched Fafhred and the Grey Mouser. I was surprised the chicken story wasn’t wrapped up in this issue… I don’t see how it can carry a full mini-series.
  19. Scam # 1. Stopped on page 26. It’s another crime-thriller! Not my genre. The execution is not terrible, but the action is a little scattered, and the art could use a little more polish.
  20. She Died in Terrebonne # 1. A noir crime story! Originally a comic strip. It was pretty good, though it didn’t hook me. The pace was surprisingly slow for a strip.
  21. Short Hand # 1. McNamara/Ekedal. A noir crime story… but wait! This one is really good. It plays with the conventions, while juggling the reader’s expectations in wonderful ways. I might have a couple of curmudgeonly nitpicks, but forget I even mentioned that. The art and story are equally excellent. If they publish any more, I will be sure to pick them up.
  22. Sinsationals # 0. “Globe-trotting supermodels, each with their own unique talents and skills.” This is not as bad as it should be with that tag line. Still, it reads like fanfic–a mish-mash of all the author’s inspirations with the serial numbers filed off.

Whew.

Over halfway there. Busy this weekend, so it will probably be late next week before I can move on to the next twenty-odd comics…

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