Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Monday, 30 March 2020
Digested issues 1 - 6.
Created by Booby N.
Published by Gestalt Comics.
£1.99 each on ComiXology - Black and White interiors.
Described by Comixology as ‘A series of short form sequential art by acclaimed Melbourne-based cartoonist Bobby.N.’
That’s rather short and sweet and doesn’t really give you a clue of what these short and square-bound mixtures of prose, comics and poetry provide for your reading pleasure.
I was looking for something to read on a long and quarantined Sunday afternoon. I came across Digested and Gestalt Comics quite by chance on a browse that I was about to give up on and just find something to reread on the shelf.
These actually have some great covers and I can’t help but think that they would have been a comic I would have immediately bought if I saw them in the flesh. Bobby N has a great indie style to his art that wouldn’t seem out of place at Top Shelf or Fantagraphics. He knows how to lay down a deep thick black line. His art mixes some different styles and you see him move about between a social slice of life approach into a more fantastical style here and there. To me there is an element of both Dylan Horrocks and Gilbert Hernandez in his caricatures. There’s also something of the Peter Bagge here too, a little of the extreme occasionally.
So it was the art that drew me in but it was one particular story that got me hooked. A man and a woman are on a date, she is a little traditional in her style of dress and a little shy. They go back to hers and he notices she has a multitude of romance novels. They sit and drink coffee. He suggests that he gets rid of his gum and she directs him to the pedal bin in the kitchen. He flips the top of the bin and notices that there is a whole cucumber in there covered in Vaseline.
Yup....right up my street.
There are mostly shorter stories that show a slice of suburban strangeness in this comics series but there are a few that jump about and continue between issues. An ongoing story has a discussion between a middle management boss and a worker who seem at not point to understand each other or even try to understand each other. Forever at an impasse to weirdly funny results. Another involves an alternative society where gas masks and tentacled creatures seem commonplace.
Another highlight is a short story about a man trying his best to show a sensitive and thoughtful side whilst filling out an online dating questionnaire but finally giving in and saying what he likes best is when a woman can put her whole fist in her mouth! (Don’t we all?)
The stories are well told and with an eye to the inspection of how a person thinks. They show real insight into the quiet moments of solitude brilliantly well.
As I’ve mentioned above this isn’t just comics and has quite a few prose, editorials, letters and poetry in the pages. They weren’t exactly what I came for but I gave quite a few of them a go and liked what I read. I would probably have rather just had a longer collection of comics but sometimes you have to stretch the brain to something a bit different.
You can find more of this cartoonists work over at https://bobbyn.com
Many thanks for reading.
Sunday, 29 March 2020
Saturday, 28 March 2020
Friday, 27 March 2020
Thursday, 26 March 2020
The Penned Guin - Treasury Edition Vol2 - "Don't Judge Me!"
Created by Alan Henderson.
£10.00 - Black and White interiors - 188 pages.
The Story - ‘Don't Judge Me! - is the all new treasury edition from the award winning webcomic.
The Penned Guin comic strip features the fun antics of an all too human like group of penguins penned by writer/artist Alan Henderson. With family friendly penguin humour for all, the daily webcomic has been running for over 6 years featuring puns, dad jokes and cringing gags.
The new treasury edition features the second 500 comic strips of the daily comic that were original presented online from August 2015 through June 2017 before being collected into the four Penned Guin comic books – We Waddlers; Ice House; To Coldly Go…; and The Sunday Postings.’
The Review - Listen. I’m a Dad so Dad jokes are my thing. If I ever use up all those zingers then I will fear not as this and other Penned Guin books by Mr Henderson will be my comedy routine saviour.
I’ve said it before but it bears saying again..... this book is toilet reading material perfection! Grab your copy and stick it in the downstairs shitter. Why bother staring at the monotonous and dreadful Tweets of wankers like me when you can pick up this gorgeous treasury edition and leaf through the ‘funnies’.
There is a remarkable amount of self-awareness and a knowingness in each short story. It’s that connection with the reader that makes this such a joy.
Not every single joke lands completely but even when they fail a bit you get a laugh at the machine gunning of jokes both good and bad throughout this volume. Alan puts out pretty much a strip of some kind every day and he is well worth following on social media. Details below.
I think that rather than dissecting all these strips I’ll just post a couple so that you get a feeling of what they are really like.
You can find a copy of this at Alan’s webstore here https://pennedguin.bigcartel.com/product/the-penned-guin-treasury-edition-vol2-don-t-judge-me
You can read a daily strip over at https://pennedguins.tumblr.com/ and follow Alan on Twitter @Shadow1972
Many thanks for reading.
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Jason McNamara - Writer / Co-creator.
Greg Hinkle - Artist, Colourist, Letterer and Co-creator.
Paul Little - Colour Flats.
Covers by Greg Hinkle, Anke Gladnick and Jim Mahfood.
Published by Polite Strangers - 36 pages - Full Colour.
(Purchased through recent Kickstarter campaign)
The Story - ‘Are you being trolled by ghouls, pestered by the paranormal or attempting to file taxes after being resurrected? Nocturnal Commissions is the only agency with the expertise to help. A Wolfman, Vampire and a Zombie are ready to solve your supernatural concerns for a very reasonable rate (plus expenses).’
This takes place shortly after the formation of the aforementioned agency and just before Alton Allen (Zombie) meets up with Dr Bradford Peterson (Vampire) and Mathias Tillman (Werewolf).
The Review - This book sure came round quickly as it feels like I only backed in on Kickstarter about a month ago. (I just checked and it was funded on the 27th of Feb!) I’m a fan of Greg Hinkle’s art after seeing it in Airboy from Image Comics a few years ago. I’d also read and reviewed ‘Sucker’ written by Jason McNamara last May and really enjoyed what he had done with that story. (You can find the review of that here http://neverironanything.blogspot.com/2019/05/sucker-volume-1-living-after-midnight.html ).
The story opens with a mostly wordless sequence on a submarine that erupts into violence through a werewolf infestation and then heads off to a private island that is off the grid and then shows the arrival of Peterson and Tillman and the beginning of their ‘investigation’. The werewolf hippy and the pompous Vampire make a brilliant double act in this story and their interactions are the source of most of the funnies. Seems like they couldn’t detect their own backyard and go about their business to half attempt and half con their customer.
I have to say that this first issue was a blast from start to finish. It is however a series and you might find it ends a little abruptly and then heads off into a series of pin-ups/variant cover gallery. For my tastes it could have done with a ‘To Be Continued’ panel as I was caught a little off-guard. It’s probably fair to say that in this comic the story takes a back seat to the character work. This works really well as a narrative choice and you find yourself walking in the steps of these professionally incompetent but pretty deadly berks. You do feel a genuine affection for them that will have me coming back for the rest of the series.
Seriously, it’s rare that I laugh out loud when I am reading a comic but this one got me at least twice.
The art from Greg Hinkle is that class combination of cartooning and action. He makes everyone’s image lean just perfectly into their character and his designs, especially the transformed vampire, are cracking. The look and style of the art walks a clever line between Horror, Comedy and Action. There’s a freshness to the approach.
The colours (with flatting assist from Paul Little) are just excellently rendered in the nighttime scenes especially. There’s a gorgeous use of blacks, greys and blues in the moonlight with a strong splash of bright red Giallo homaged blood. The colour has an occasional limited palette depending on the story and setting. Keep an eye out for the flashback pages showing Alton Allen’s pre-Zombie punk band origin story - there’s a lovely use of vibrant yellow/green light in a creepy lab scene!
Jason McNamara (writer) previously co-created The Rattler graphic novel with Greg Hinkle. He is also the graphic novel author of The Cicada, SUCKER, The Crossing, Abandon, From Mars with Love, The Martian Confederacy, Short-Hand, Continuity, First Moon and Less Than Hero. He teaches comic book scriptwriting at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. You can find him online at http://jason-mcnamara.com/ and on Twitter @JasonMcNamara
Keep an eye out for the next Kickstarter. Here’s a useful link https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ramonesome/nocturnal-commissions-a-ghoulish-comic-book-adventure/creator_bio
Greg Hinkle (artist & letterer) Greg co-created The Rattler with Jason, and was the artist on AIRBOY and Black Cloud, both published by Image Comics. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Shay and dog Penny. You can find him on Twitter @greg_hinkle
Paul Little (color flats): His color work has appeared in titles from publishers including Image Comics, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse, IDW, Joe Books, and more.
Many thanks for reading.
Monday, 23 March 2020
Sunday, 22 March 2020
Five aliens flee their planet in a desperate attempt to find a new habitable home. Although Olak, Aome, Acrok, Rirke and U'on have conflicting ideas about the nature of their mission they have to come together to face an unexpected encounter.'