Friday, 19 June 2020

A Rant - ‘Take A Bite.’

Hold onto your socks I’m off on another rant. It’s been a while.

I’ll start it with a phrase I’ve been considering for a while.

‘I believe that you have to have lived to be able to write.‘

Now, I’m sure that there will be people out there who immediately take objection to the above statement and consider that they are able to write convincingly from their bland lives as they believe they have enough ‘imagination’. Then I would counter that by asking them how much better their writing would be if they could add to that stew some flashes of genuine reality relocated into their craft.

I do not make any claims at being a great writer but I do push for that truth in everything I write.

For example, I may not have lived in a post apocalyptic world and drank in McGregor’s sleazy dive but I have been in a few fights in pubs that embrace dangerous personalities.

I may not have met and fallen in love with a prostitute but I have chatted to and laughed with working girls and I have fallen in love.

I may not have been an East End gangster but I have drunk and laughed and fought with and against them. Those complicated men and women are real to me, I can describe them in detail.

I may not have been a member of a ‘Monster Spotters Club’ but my son (and I) were in the scouts and we would go looking for animals (he loves hiding and spotting squirrels) as a 5 yr old. He would come up with cunning ways to hide without being seen all the while telling me to ‘Shush Dad’.

More and more these days I’m seeing a lack of reality in writing. No depth to the situations. No individualism to the people in or narrating the comic book stories. This problem stops the reader from being all in. It’s a disappointing trend that is making comics a laughable commodity at many glances. There is a lack of true investment. 

I used to say that you had to fight a bull to write about it. I never ever meant it literally and there are levels of understanding here that can be picked apart. I’m sure that Alan Moore was never Jack the Ripper but I’m also sure that he’s met rough men, he’s walked the streets of the East End, he’s heard and internalised the stories of Detectives and he’s practised in the diabolical darkness present on the Eddie Campbell gloriously illustrated pages. 

The experience never needs to be literal. I wouldn’t expect you to have met The Devil - however we all have our demons. Explore the experiences that have taken you down some dark alleys. Or alternatively to the top of some beautiful mountains. And if you don’t have those memories to explore then get out of your bedroom and live some life.

‘There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.’ Ernest Hemingway. 

We need to take a bite out of life to be able to describe how it tastes. We also need to be hurt to bleed. Feeling is part of writing and if you have never felt then you cannot translate it into words on a page. Being in love is unlike anything else in this world. That feeling in your gut and the moments you daydream about that other person are special and magnificent. So I ask you, how could you write about love in any of your stories without having had that experience. 

To be a writer you have to understand the feeling of extreme moments and you can’t do that by sitting at a desk and watching Netflix. As an industry we will end up writing ourselves into a box of dull shapes, banal reactions and stories written by the slightest and unreal motivations. 

It seems that at this moment in time we are more likely to get a comic about watching the recent Black Lives Matter protests on a television than from somebody who was actually there and has that truth to their work. 

Is this beginning to make sense?

‘I feel ever so strongly that an artist must be nourished by his passions and his despairs.’ Francis Bacon.

Don’t we need to experience high emotion to translate it into art? We need to use our art to be part of that emotional process. Feed off that moment. 

The adults have left the room and we are left with the OMG’ing faux polemic of the spotty millenial writing in a way to impress their Twitter bubble. Send it to their friends, get a pat on the back and wait for the moment to take hold before they smugly create more unchallenging, emotionless drivel. These attempts are obvious and trite and ultimately unsatisfying. 

We will be left with comics that show the emotional depth of a toddler shouting ‘Look mum, I saw a dog’. 

So go and experience. Feel the gambit of emotions. Let them penetrate your mind and enhance your soul. Not always easy I’ll give you that but enriching and very, very useful. And then strive to be that better writer.

Many thanks for reading.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

‘Atomic Hercules 2’ - Tribute Press in Full Effect.

(Variant Cover - Ben Mara).

Yesterday was a full day of enveloping, bagging, planning, recording and chuckling at the Socially Distant yet fully diabolical and sweary Tribute Press Headquarters in a dirty basement in St Albans. 

(Regulation Mask removed for aesthetic purposes but gel and antiseptic wipes on show!)

Myself and Co-Publisher Mr Adam Falp had a meeting at the offices along with a freelance Logistics Consultant to get this Kickstarter whipped into shape! It took a full six hours to get everything ready for posting and now all we are waiting on are the postcards to be added and they will be heading to the Post Office.

As those who are following the campaign will know there are two covers to issue 2. The standard cover by Adam himself and the variant by Benjamin Mara (see above). Like the variant we had from Ken Langraf on issue one this was another brilliant interpretation of Hercules by an artist both myself and Adam admire greatly. 

(Standard Cover by Adam Falp).

But as you can see above Adam was no slouch himself! 

We can’t wait to get this into your hands. This has been a huge satirical love letter from start to finish. Sure it’s not for the faint of heart but we hope that we hit what we aimed at again in this second issue. We tackle subjects like bullying, war, love, sex, racism and more with a psychedelic lens that will hopefully become clear when you read it through. But if you want to read this just for the crazy violence and just plain weird sexual practises there is that too! Oh, and I also have a dig at Hipsters and the lack of adults in our modern world.

Adam has absolutely killed on this issue and added some great characters and moments. Along with Mr Nick Prolix you can see the faux Bronze Age adverts that Adam has also created! If you pledged to the project you’ll also get an extra digital only story with fan-favourites Noodles and Kristal and an audio commentary that we also recorded yesterday.

Please head over to Tribute Press here and follow this new imprint on Twitter @TributePress

If you missed out on the Kickstarter project you’ll soon be able to order the second issue through the website.

Many thanks for reading.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Podcasting During Lockdown.

Hi Chums. Apologies that I've been a little quiet on here of late. I've been flooded with work and been creating some new comics (more on that soon). 

I've finally bitten the bullet and started up a spin-off podcast that is running to keep people (including me) amused during this lockdown. Myself and a comics buddy have been talking about a comic, graphic novel, story or creator and doing a deep dive. 

I thought that I would share with you a few of the recent episodes.

Episode 13 - 'Alex Toth an Angry Genius' with Jonny Canon and Russell Mark Olson.

This was cracking fun and I got to sit down with Mr Canon and Mr Olson who helped me define why Alex Toth was such an incredible artist and why he should be more revered in the modern comics landscape.

Have a listen here Episode 13.

Episode 14 - 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow' with Pete Watson.

Myself and Pete really get into the nuts and bolts of the two comic story that would mark the end of an era for Superman. Does it still work? How much do we miss Curt Swan? Is this the ultimate Superman story? 

Have a listen here Episode 14

(Some John M Burns for your eyeballs).

Episode 15 - 'Masters of British Comic Art' by David Roach with Richard Sheaf. 

Using the excellent new release by David Roach on the history of some amazing artists and showing their magnificant art myself and The Don of British Comics Richard Sheaf each choose three comics artists we love and talk about their history and body of work. It's a love letter to some amazing work that needs more attention.

Have a listen here Episode 15.

Episode 16 - 'Brian Lewis and the Halls of Hammer' with Jason Wilson.

Myself and comics creator Jason Wilson mix it up in the comics and movie adaption world of Dez Skinn's Halls of Horror comics magazine that featured the art of Brian Lewis. A creator with the ability to both recreate the character of Hammer Horror movies and then turn his style to action adventure, saucy comedy and much more.

You can have a listen here Episode 16.

Episode 17 - 'Marshall Law' with Dan Butcher.

I meet up with Awesome Comics Pod brother Dan Butcher and we examine the themes and legacy of one of our favourite series. This is a book that breaks down the hero myth and examines those that put on the cape, those that worship them and he that hunts them.

Have a listen here Episode 17.

Episode 18 - 'Born Again' with Eamonn Clarke.

What a story! Told my two absolute masters of the craft. Myself and Eamonn from the Mega City Book Club Podcast really examine the moments, art and story-telling in this classic Daredevil run. A book ahead of the pack at the time and still in pure quality.

Have a listen to here Episode 18.

You can find all eighteen episodes with more being added weekly over at the Never Iron Anything  Podbean Page here.

Many thanks for listening.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Honest Review Month Goes Audio Again! Adam Warlock with Dave Robertson.

I sat down this evening with Dundee’s own comics creating guvnor Mt Dave Robertson. We talk about the run that leads through Strange Tales to Warlocks’ own named series and finally into a couple of Marvel annuals.

This is a book at the height of the cosmic seventies weirdness. It is beautifully drawn with a multi-levelled narrative that makes it a classic of the time and still very readable. We compare highs and some lows and examine the themes and visuals in depth. Does the story end too soon? Should it have run onwards into those gauntlet comics? What is Starlin trying to say?

We also chat all about Dave and his comics imprint Fred Egg Comics. Some great releases such as his suburban time-travel story Belltime and many more. Hop over to and grab some to read. You can also find Dave on Twitter @FredEggComics

Many thanks for listening.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Honest Review Month Goes Audio - ‘A Death in the Family’ with Damian Edwardson.

ON this Audio Episode of Honest Review Month my self and one half of  Art92 Collective’s Damian Edwardson take a deep dive on one of the most controversial storylines ever to hit the Bat Books.

Batman issues 426-429 featured the death of the then Robin after a public vote decided if he should die or not!

Written by Jim Starlin with art by Jim Aparo, Inks by Mike DeCarlo and Colours by Adrienne Roy this really got some interesting conversation rolling. Was it a crass commercial decision? Did it work as a story? Why did the Joker hog most of the story and get the best costume changes? Why was Superman acting so strangely? 

There’s loads to ponder in this new episode that you can find here 

You can also find out about the mighty Art Collection that features Helena and Damian at their website here Have a look for their great comics and art.

Many thanks for listening.

Friday, 10 April 2020

In Review - ‘Cut-Man issue 1’

Cut-Man issue 1.

Written by Alexander Banks-Jongman.

Art by Robert Ahmad.

Letters by DC Hopkins.

Published by Action Lab - Danger Zone.

£2.99 - 25 pages - Released 

The Story - ‘Hank Kelly cannot die. With this revelation, his life is thrown into a world of fame and fortune. But can fame and fortune repair his broken family? Meanwhile, detective Rosalind Lovejoy makes a fateful discovery: Kelly’s immortality has a dark cost.’

The Review - This came out on the recent rather underwhelming New Comic Book Day. I had only a couple of weeks ago written a review of New York City Gallows that is also a comic drawn by Robert Ahmad. (He’s a busy dude!) So I thought I would buy this one and have a look.

I’ll start with the cover which I have to admit was also somewhat underwhelming. The colours and the framing are just not working for me. Who in editorial decided that such a drab colour scheme should be eye-catching in a sea of comics? The smoke from the car on the left of the page feels like it has cut or even torn the side off and the skyline with the Empire State Building in prominence is less than convincing. The lack of visible injuries also don’t really explain the large trail of blood? (It just looks like he’s had some red paint splashed on him?) It’s hardly a bold new issue is it? It’s not even a scene in the actual comic.

The story starts out with what appears to be an argumentative inner monologue within the mind of Hank Kelly. A tortured person who lays sadly on his bed in his humble apartment seemingly talking to himself. The story then switches to a discussion with a therapist after a credit box. This short discussion seems a little over-acted but I’m going with it for now. And then suddenly he’s back in his apartment having a shower. As an opening few pages I’m not exactly feeling thrilled. He then meets a girl and she comes back to his place, he calls his therapist and walks to a child custody hearing. And I’m already well over half-way through this comic. If I wasn’t reviewing it I would have given up.

Finally of page 16 of a total 25 pages something finally happens. I won’t tell you what as there is a chance you’ll want to read it.

Then in the period of only five hours a crowd of people are gathering outside a hospital and declaring Hank an ‘Immortal Man’ or a ‘Super man’. After Five hours? There’s even a banner declaring he is Jesus Christ reborn?! The end of the issue seems severely rushed. Sadly the writing and structure of the opening issue make it both dull and unconvincing.

The art makes use of the the one colour on black and white that we saw with Darwyn Cooke’s Parker books. It is in the most part very well done and communicates story and emotion (albeit at moments a little over intensified) with style. If this had a better cover and a little more of an engaging and less confusing plot (who was that voice in the opening scene?) I’d definitely be on board for the next issue.

I can’t help but think that the book would be better with more oversight from editorial. One of the panels clearly has the unused tail of a word balloon out of place over a character’s face for example. This oversight may also have spotted the uneven plot structure and failing cover.

Many thanks for reading.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

In Review - ‘Starring Sonya Devereaux: Naked Are The Damned 2’ issue 1.

‘Starring Sonya Devereaux: Naked Are The Damned2’ issue 1.

Written by Nick Capetanakis and Todd Livingston.

Art by Brendan Fraim and Brian Fraim.

34 pages - Main Story in full colour with a Black and White backup.

£3.99 (digital) - Released August 2016.

Published by American Mythology Productions.

The Story - ‘No budget is too low, no dialog too cheesy, and no plotline too thin to keep Sonya from appearing in these straight to DVD flicks. From horror - to action - to erotic thriller, each issue is a laugh-filled send up of a different genre and movie – but they all have one thing in common: Sonya Devereaux and FUN! Okay, that’s two things. But just like gravy on mashed potatoes is delicious, Sonya in a crappy movie is hilarious! Now showing: THE NAKED ARE THE DAMNED 2: Satan has possessed a greedy CEO that wants the farm land owned by Camille’s (Sonya Devereaux) family. With the help of a voodoo queen, Camille must use her wits, charm, and skill to defeat a zombie army!’

Review - I know what you are thinking! You are fully expecting me to dive into criticising this comic aren’t you. Well my comics chums I’m not going to. It isn’t perfect that’s for sure but it also doesn’t take itself seriously. I read this book in my lunch break today and I absolutely loved the bare-faced ridiculousness of the characters and the plot. But (NEWSFLASH) that’s what it is meant to be. 

The comic is bookended by Sonya introducing her own new straight to DVD movie at a Horror Convention. The audience is filled with geeky male fans who both adore the buxom Low-budget movie star but are also keen to point out all the plot holes and missteps in continuity in ‘THE NAKED ARE THE DAMNED:2’. So consequently most of the comic is an adaption of this movie. A flick that has Troma or Full Moon Studios written large across the story, genre and dialogue - and to me that makes for a saucy reading experience. For anyone who likes bad horror and science fiction movies this should be right up their street for a carefree half an hour of reading.

In the faked movie portion of the comic the writers throw themselves wholesale into cheeky and trashy dialogue. ‘Camille’ is at once an innocent farm girl with a Daisy Duke style of dressing but she also resorts to Karate Kicks and the use of heavy ordinance firearms and explosives and throws herself into Lesbian pornography. The Voodoo element of the story has one eye on a smart mouth and the other on a quick buck. My favourite written sections are when all the ‘models’ get together and one of them keeps calling Camille a ‘Slut’ no matter what the sentence is about.

The art isn’t perfect and has that Zenascope cheesecake feel to many of the pages and some of the action is a little stiff but it works pretty well in the most part. The colouring is a little on the nose here as well but for me I have to admit that it’s all I wanted in this read. It’s fun and takes the piss out of it’s own T and A over exaggerations to make it pretty darn hilarious.

Other ‘movie’ experiences you can have with Ms Devereaux include Vampire Academy 4 and Debutante Desperado. Not coming to Sky Movies anytime soon - BUT THEY SHOULD BE!!!!!

Look up some more of these sordid comics at I’ve just had a quick look and it seems that you can get a free digital copy of this comic over there.

Many thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Some Rabbit Detective for you?

Hopper: Detective of the Strange - The Case of the Man-eating Printing Press.

Created, Written and Illustrated by Rob Barnes.

Edited by Tom Stewart.

Published by Fair Spark Books - 24 pages - Full Colour.

Release date TBC.

The Story - A suspicious death occurs in the Daily Sentinel newspaper. One of the staff after struggling with one of the vending machines is crushed to death! But the mystery does not end there. A couple of the employees at The Sentinel claim that they saw the aforementioned vending machine follow the victim down the hallway before crushing him. And why is there a Voodoo Doll in the machine?

Luckily, Hopper is here and ready to investigate.

The Review - I find these books by Rob Barnes both an absolute joy to read and a complete breath of fresh air in this locked in and cynical world we find ourselves. His previous series out of Fair Spark books was the buddy fantasy book Gallant and Amos which I also really enjoyed. But Hopper has the edge for me in quality. This is a sharply crafted comic. It has a Hanna-Barbera meets Kolchak: The Night Stalker vibe with all the right age specific tone and fun. Mix into that a portion of Roger Rabbit and some Dick Tracy and you’ve got a great ride of a mystery story.

This is also a whodunnit and I’m purposely leaving out some of the more important plot twists so as not to ruin it for you!

The Hopper cast is slowly growing and feeling familiar in this second story. We have Gladys the gutsy cab driver who throws herself into danger at a moment’s notice and possibly might have a crush on Hopper. We also have the uniformed Patrol Officer Bull who uses his hard head and horns to crash through front doors. Throw into the mix psychic advisors and voodoo curses too.

‘I think they mighta flipped their wigs.’

Mr Barnes also throws a little nod to the older comics fans amongst us..... but I‘ll let you have a look to discover that particular name/character.

The art is also the next step up for Rob Barnes and has a clean style but never crosses that line into the computer nonsense we get in some other overly glossy cartooning elsewhere. You can also spot the love that the creator has for both this style and the characters he has created. There’s a real bounce of movement in the panels! I highly recommend you have a look for this when it comes out.

A portion of the profits of the sales of this book goes to The Little Heroes Charity helping kids in long term hospital care. You can donate by going to this link 

You can find more out about the creator at his website here or follow him on Twitter @barnz63

Head over to Fair Spark Books at their website here and follow them on Twitter @fairsparkbooks

Many thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Honest Review Months Goes Audio (Again)!

Today we are back to the audio format with a great chat between myself and the comics creator Johnny Cannon. After a small amount of confusion that I have to cough to we decided to talk about a short run on a nineties Marvel Comic called Quasar. Why did we choose this book? Because it contains the underrated art of one Mike Manley.

For those unfamiliar with Mike’s art it’s worth noting that he moved over into the field of animation for a decade or more after a good few hundred issues of art in the pencils and inky areas. He’s back drawing comics again and currently working on the Phantom newspaper strip as well as teaching illustration.

We have had a blast reliving a bygone era and the conversation goes all over the place.

You can hear it here and leave comments on this blog or find me on Twitter @Ezohyez.

You can find old JC and his comics here and find him on Twitter @Cannonhillcomics

Many thanks for listening.

Monday, 6 April 2020

In Review - ‘Kanu’s Trek issue 1.’ From King Ball Comics.

Kanu’s Trek issue 1.

Writing and Art by Justin Walker.
Colours by Nikolai Radivojev.
Cover by Teodoro Gonzalez and Justin Walker.

Published by King Ball Comics - 24 pages - Full Colour.
£1.99 on ComiXology
Released 18/9/2019.

The Story - ‘Kanu's Trek is a tale about a man who leaves his home, a crumbling Utopia, in search of a mythic forest out in the vast wastelands. He encounters an entity partly of his own making, and through their conversation, Kanu is able to reflect on his past and make tough decisions about his future.’

The Review -. This was another find on ComiXology and for a change is at a fairly reasonable price. The cover is a strange one as it doesn’t seem to reflect what is inside and also isn’t really of a design that automatically makes you click on it/reach for it. Something that shows the reader more what they are likely to get from the book would be a much better way to go in my opinion. The text also suffers from being a little illegible too. An easy fix for issue 2 I’m guessing.

I have to admit that after taking a random and blind punt on a comic this was an interesting/intriguing surprise. It is a slow character driven narrative that basically revolves about an older man in a desert talking to a pile of rocks. It shows a meditative reverence to the situation that this man named Kanu and the world around him has fallen hard into. In fact many of the panels are focused on the lined and bearded face of Kanu who quietly utters his lines whilst unsure if he is going mad. But he remains an attention grabbing study. He is also at moments both spiritually contemplative and prone to acts of sudden violence.

A warning though is relevant here too. There isn’t much that happens in this launch issue. It also takes a while to figure out what is going on and why .... but that is kind of why I enjoyed it so much. If you are in the right mood this will stretch your investigative process and be pleasing with some fresh panels layouts and a great digitally coloured set palette.

A plague has hit the planet. But what is the source of this plague. Could it be a plague of consumerism? Or war? Or anger? Or greed? This place is called ‘Utolp’ been seems a long way from a Utopia. This harsh reality clashes in this slowly told but never boring exploration of where we might go next as a race. 

The art is strong and colourful with a small nod to Manga and indie underground comix mixed together. It has scope and the world feels fresh and has a mysterious reality to even that talking stone circle.

This was a small little gem in a sea of ComiXology Submit that I will be checking back on.

You can find out more by visiting the King Ball publishers page on ComiXology here

Many thanks for reading.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

In Review - ‘Billionaire Island issue 1’ from Ahoy Comics.

Billionaire Island issue 1.

Written by Mark Russell.
Art by Steve Pugh.
Colours by Chris Chuckry.
Letters by Rob Steen.

Published by Ahoy Comics.
£3.99 (ComiXology) - Full Colour - 32 pages.

The Story - ‘Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes...if you can afford it. But the island's ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a very high price.’

The Review - Well this was a great antidote to the current climate of very serious news reporting and social distancing. A comic that is both a funny ride but with a cheeky satirical edge. 

The cover to me is a weak Banksy rip and needs to be less of a faux political statement and more representative of the creepy and murderous humour comic that we see inside. (In fact a reverse image search brings back at least a couple of Banksy results). It does however show a little hint at the slyly performed digs at consumerism and worshipping of ‘The Rich List’ that is going on today. A sentiment that seems somehow to hit home with more impact with what is happening in the current lockdown situation we find ourselves in. One rule for the rich and one for the not so fucking rich. Who knew?

Who could central villain/asshole Rick Canto be based on I ask myself. There’s a little of the Mark Zuckerberg visually and a little more of the Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson about the smug island owning/show off/bellend stuff. Canto is a villain for our time that also simultaneously reflects Lex Luther and a touch of the Loki in his never giving a fuck/people are playthings attitude. ‘Freedom Unlimited’ - yeah that stinks of a shallow marketing meeting.

I’ve been a fan of Mark Russell since enjoying Exit Stag Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles. He has an idiosyncratic style that allows for action, pathos and humour all at once. There are a couple of page turn (guided view swipe) moments that genuinely surprised and interested me and I shall be keeping an eye out for the next issue - whenever that may be! (No slight on Ahoy intended here - but with the current situation who of us can be sure?)

The art has something very different about it and echoes something somewhere between Mad Magazine and a Horror comic. It is at once underground and satirical but also clearly a four colour monthly. Steve Pugh really pushes a couple of the more caricature/cartoony elements of his style to great results. There are some excellently performed moments of techie goodness and a lot of visual character traits that are very of the moment.

This is a book that I would recommend. Stop watching the press conferences on the news and download this instead.

It’s worthy of note that whilst the page count is shown as 32 pages the actual story is 22 pages and the rest is a text piece, a poem and a preview of another Ahoy Comic.

You can find more about Ahoy Comics here and follow them on Twitter @AhoyComicMags

Many thanks for reading.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

In Review - ‘Modern Godhood’ - On Kickstarter Now.

Modern Godhood issue 1.

Stories written by Frank Martin and Braiden Cox.

Art by Kieran Squires and Alex Perez

Colours by Matt Van Gorkom, Lorenzo Stello and Rifan.

Cover by Chinedu Campbell.

26 pages - Full Colour.

The Kickstarter is running until the 1st of May and you can find out about it here

The Story - ‘Once stripped of his immortality and banished to earth, the Roman God Jupiter ventured on a quest to reclaim his GODHOOD. Now, with his powers restored, he listens for prayers of mortals in need, helping wherever he can. It's a dangerous MODERN world filled with many supernatural threats. Someone has to protect humanity and Lord Jupiter is more than up to the challenge...’

‘This 32 page one-shot is a crossover of RECLAIMING GODHOOD and MODERN TESTAMENT. It contains three never-before-seen short stories of mythological fantasy and action as Jupiter faces new and dangerous threats:

Lady of the Night -  After visiting a brothel run by a mysterious woman named Lilith, Jupiter is convinced someone is in need of his help. On the surface everything appears normal, but looks can be deceiving. 

Mark of the Beast - Jupiter follows an endless trail of prayers for help to a dimension being ravaged by the legendary Beast of Revelation. It's the end of the world. Jupiter vs. the Beast in a slugfest with the fate of humanity at stake.

Judgement - Armageddon has begun! The Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride on. Only Jupiter stands in their way. But which of the Four Horsemen will rise to face him?’

The Review - This came in on a link to the Awesome Comics Podcast for the Kickstarter that is currently running on this first issue. So far I haven’t seen the aforementioned ‘Reclaiming Godhood’. And this is in fact two and a half stories as ‘Judgement’ is dependant on a vote from the pledgers as to who Jupiter faces in combat. That’s quite a neat twist that’s a fun added extra for this Kickstarter campaign.

The cover is one of the better ones to come out of the small press comics world recently and has a great dramatic moment featuring Jupiter and terrors who are just out of reach. When I first saw it I presumed it had been done by Bart Sears or someone with a similar style. The artist wasn’t so far credited in this preview copy I received so I contacted one of the writers and found out it is by Chinedu Campbell who has a couple of books for sale on ComiXology. I’ll keep an eye out for him in the future.

I appreciate that the third story isn’t finished but you can see that this is a pretty solid small press fantasy comic. The always helmeted Jupiter has the profile and stature of a stoic force of nature. It is simply told and with drama and action. It has an adult eye on the myths and there are a couple of funny moments in the ‘Brothel sequence’ in the first story that keep your interest. Some of the figure drawing could do with some work but it’s forgivable due to the obvious fun the creators are having.

I enjoyed the action in ‘Mark of the Beast’ the most of all and it is kept at a brutal pace with a 360 degree view of what is happening. The titular beast is a nice design that puts Jupiter in danger significantly enough for you to wonder at the outcome. It’s got a nicely rounded denouement after such a blockbuster of a battle.

Of all the three stories it was the third that didn’t rock my boat. It is also the one that remains purposely unfinished. The fault for me lays in that most difficult of artistic tasks ....Horses! Maybe this can be rectified by the time the book hits everyone’s mailboxes and inboxes. I suppose that is a regular problem when facing the mythology of The Four ‘Horsemen”.

A small niggle would be that I’m not that keen visually on the font that they have chosen for when Jupiter is speaking. It suffers from being a little unreadable and breaks up the sequential flow. The rest of the lettering is more than competent - I’d say that just with that little point they need to consider alternatives.

Overall this is a fun book and you can tell that the creators are having a blast with the material. Some of the art and the lettering could do with some changes but I’d happily see this as a series.

Many thanks for reading.

New Podcast - Dissecting the Black Crown Universe with Cliff Cumber.

On Episode 4 of the Never Iron Anything Comics Review Podcast I was joined by artist and all round bounder Cliff Cumber.

We go through the publishing history of Black Crown - this short-lived but burned brightly imprint at IDW. We dissect the highs and the lows of the books that they published and also ponder on why this model didn’t find the success it hoped for in the modern comics market.

Comics like Kid Lobotomy from Pete Milligan and Angry Tess Fowler, Punks Not Dead from Dave Barnett and Martin Simmonds, Marilyn Mansion from Magdalene Visaggio and Marley Zarcone and more get examined under the microscope of hindsight. There’s a lot of love and a little bit of WTF opinions here on the show.

This is also not for the faint of heart as there is a short discussion about the merits of dogging during the Virus Lockdown.

Let me know in the comments what you think. (And yes I know I get the episode number wrong in the first two minutes of the episode!)

Do you have a graphic novel, series or single issue you’d like to discuss during these lockdown days? Leave a comment below.

Many thanks for listening.