Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Honest Review Month goes AUDIO!

Honest Review Month - Elektra Assassin 1 - 6.

Just for a change of pace myself and buddy Sarah Harris changed the format of Honest Review Month and tried an audio episode. In this one we tackle Sarah's favourite comic series of all time. H

This is a real mind-bending trip and we try to decipher what was really going on - an fail but have a chuckle trying!

Here's the cover to the trade that Tony owns that he only just realised is meant to show Elektra and Garrett as circus performers! 

Give the channel a follow here https://neverironanything.podbean.com/ and leave us a review if you like it!

Many thanks for listening.

Monday, 30 March 2020

In Review - ‘Digested’ by Bobby N.

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

In Review - ‘Cats: The Butthole Cut’ - by Matt Simmons.

Cats: The Butthole Cut.

Created by Matt Simmonds.

Eight Page Mini Comic - Free with any purchase from his site.

The recent movie adaption of Cats proved to be something of a controversial piece of art. In this DIY mini comic it is the task of comics graphic novelist Matt Simmonds to dissect the themes and metaphors on show in this 110 minutes of sparkling brilliance. He examines in detail the socio-political environment that caused this obvious work of genius to garner such a polemic response.  What many experts view as a commentary in abstract form on the relative nature of consumerism in a feverishly pseudo communist/capitalist landscape we see behind the curtain of the knee-jerk populist media and discover the truth.

Nah ...... Matt went and saw this movie and spends eight pages telling you how shite it is and taking the piss out of it!

‘As soon as the “Cats’ crawled out, I was like.......I’ve made a huge mistake.’

There are also many cat bum-holes in this Furry Baiting rubbish.

I enjoyed this. It’s DIY as fuck and coloured in with felt tips from the look of it but made me laugh out loud more than once.

You can get comics from Matt over at https://mattsimmonscomics.bigcartel.com/ and follow him on Twitter @SheriffFreak

Short one today ...... see you tomorrow.

Many thanks for reading.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

In Review - ‘Herd’ issue 1 from Floating Rock Comics.

Herd issue 1.

Written by Geoff Richards.
Art by Peter Habjan.
Colours by John Charles.
Letters by Rob Jones.

Published by Floating Rock Comics.

The Story - ‘Homo-Vampyrus were the most deadly humans ever to evolve. Stronger and faster than their hominid cousins, they quickly became the dominant species amongst the great apes. They feasted upon their relatives with no remorse, hunting Homo-Sapiens to near extinction.

HERD tells the story of this time. When starvation and disease ravages Vampyrus society. When charismatic leaders present radical solutions. When a single band of Sapiens refuse to be a herd and instead become a tribe.’

The Review - I got sent this as a COVID19 freebie by Geoff and had seen the cover about previously but hadn’t got round to ordering a copy. So very kind of him indeed. 

The cover has a bold image that is totally representational of what happens inside this opening issue, albeit it in a somewhat spoilerific way. It also begins to show the reader the faux historical ‘accuracy’ and design work that totally fits in some excellent narrative building. 

As this is an opening issue you get a lot of setting up but I’m glad to report that this doesn’t affect the pace of the storytelling and the action/horror elements. This is a world where the mass population is getting out of control and the supply of food is dwindling. A clever projection of our current situation into this fantasy environment perhaps but this is done with a clever twist. The food supply is the Homo Sapiens and their blood and the population control needs to be enforced on the growing Vampire population. Strict rules have been enforced about controlling the slaughter of men and women so as to continue the ‘blood’ lines. To defy these laws does not end well.

I also love the fact that the creative team have opted to show the Homo-Vampyrus in the full light of the day. They make a bold and brawn statement from the first panel. The are both Barbarians and yet also you begin to see the strings of intrigue that develop. The encampment of humans in comparison has the feeling of North American indigenous people before the Europeans arrived. They live within the natural world with wolves as pets and there’s an amazing sequence where they fight a Grizzly.

The art has a touch of the Richard Corbin about the fantasy elements that I was immediately drawn to in both line and layout. It really does contain a polished style and the colours work well. The bursts of action and violence have a genuine flair to them that kept me glued to what was happening. Peter Habjan deals with the savage moments exceptionally. I could easily see this published as a European style album.

My only small criticism is that it felt a little short and that £2.99 seems a tiny bit high for a digital copy - oh well, I suppose that’s less than the Big Two are charging at the moment!

Head over to their website and get your own copy http://floatingrockcomics.co.uk/my-shop/

You can find the writer online here at his Kickstarter page and it looks like issue 2 is any day now https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/floatingrockcomics/herd-issue-2-and-1 You can also find him on Twitter @FloatRockComics

You can find the artist Peter Habjan here https://www.artstation.com/peterhabjan

Many thanks for reading.

A Podcast for the Lock Downs.

A New Podcast.

Dark and Strange Days.

I'm a big consumer and lover of the podcast delivery system. I'm a co-host on The Awesome Comics Podcast and continue to have an absolute blast with my two buddies Vince and Dan.

But as a little extra bit of fun I'll be posting semi-regular comics reviews and additional mucking about. This is also to fit in with the currently running Honest Review Month.

There are two episodes live now.

1. Myself and Adam Falp disect the Black Hammer Universe.
2. A repurposing of the Atomic Hercules commentary.

You can find it over at the Podbean site here https://neverironanything.podbean.com/

Many thanks for listening.

Friday, 27 March 2020

In Review - ‘X-O Manowar (2020) issue 1’.

X-O Manowar (2020) issue 1.

Written by Dennis ‘Hopeless’ Hallum.
Art by Emilio Lasio.
Colours by Ruth Redman.
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Eleanor.
Cover Art by Christian Ward.
Variant Covers by Jeff Dekal, Rod Reid, Greg Smallwood and Raul Allen.
Edited by Heather Antos.

33 pages (this includes a six page Shadowman preview). 
Full Colour - £3.99 on ComiXology.

The Story - ‘Torn from the past and bonded with a living alien armor, will X-O Manowar become the hero the world needs? As a futuristic force arises to destroy the planet, only this ancient warrior king has the courage to stand against impossible odds!’

The Review - I have been with this character since the early days of this company and from way back in it’s previous incarnation. He is a favourite and over the last five years or so there has been some great work done on Aric of Dacia but he has been missing in action for around a year now. I have been waiting to see what the newly reshaped Valiant Comics does with him now. 

The last series from a couple of years ago was an absolute triumph in my eyes and had much more of a painterly style with art by Tomas Giorello (and colours by Diego Rodriguez) that you could really drink in. The art in this new series has more line-work on show that has a much more nineties style similar to what we saw from Valiant in it’s first incarnation’s later years. You can also see the new effects in colouring on use from the first page as well as some Manga influences. As I start reading I begin to feel that they are really going to have to pull out some great moments to win me over.

What the summary from the ComiXology page doesn’t tell you is that Aric the Visigoth is now living the life of a Hobo and is trying to become part of an inner city community. He’s been playing basketball and making friends by killing deer in Canada and bringing the dead animal back to the sidewalk and cooking it over a fire. He also flies off at the drop of a hat to save the city from missiles or even fight wars in the Ukraine. There seems to be an obvious attempt to make X-O hip by making him a little bit more street level and watching him learn the modern world as a stranger in a strange land. But also by aiming him at the bigger threats as exemplified by the last scene that I won’t spoil.

To be fair the big villain that appears at the end of the first issue does feel more like something that fits into an X-O series. It has an interesting design and you are getting some hints at a diabolical back story. Is it enough to save the issue? I’m yet to be convinced.

Let me just say straight away that when the voice of the alien armour called ‘Shanhara’ says ‘I am not a Podcast, Visigoth’ .........a little part of me died. Saying that I’m not sure that Aric would know what a Podcast is as later on in issue 1 Shanhara has to have explained to him what Basketball is!

Some seriously unconvincing nudity in this particular scene? Flesh coloured trousers? I’m feeling a censoring hand here somewhere (especially after Aric and Shanhara discuss his nakedness.) Strange.

The art has a more of a sense of a webcomic style as I read onwards and I have to admit to not being a fan. There have been some unbelievably great issues of X-O in the last few years but this in art and storytelling so far doesn’t match up yet.

This proud Visigoth warrior has gone a bit pudgy.

Aric - ‘I like my clothes. Worn cotton, it breathes.’ ......... (WHAT?!?)

I’ll hate myself for doing it but I have such fondness for this character that I’ll give issue 2 a go. Low expectations may work better on me next time. 

And yes, that does look like Batman’s plane on the cover!

Find Valiant Comics here http://valiantentertainment.com and follow them on Twitter @ValiantComics

Look out for some other books written by Dennis ‘Hopeless’ Hallum on Twitter @HopelessDent

Look out for more art by Emilio Lasio here https://www.comicartfans.com/gallerypiece.asp?piece=1320854

Many thanks for reading.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

In Review - ‘The Penned Guin: Treasury Edition Vol 2’ by Alan Henderson.

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

In Review - ‘New York City Gallows’ issue 1.

New York City Gallows - issue 1 

Script: Ben Cook
Art: Robert Ahmad
Color: A.H.G.
Letters: DC Hopkins
Cover: Charlie Gillespie
Logo/Cover Assembly: Jim Kersey

Available on Gum Road - £4 (Digital) £5 (Physical)
36 pages - Full Colour.

The Story - ‘Corruption and organised crime is at an all time high, eating away at what's left of the Big Rotten Apple, and Detective Cassie Delaney has just uncovered the truth. 

Cass and her partner Det. Eric Keene are hot on the trail of New York's illusive and savage vigilante, "The Hangman", but Cass is about to learn that some leads shouldn't be followed as she finds herself at the Hangman's mercy.’

This is one of the titles that are available as part of the Comichaus Digital Comics subscription.

The Review - Might be a good time to talk straightaway about the cover (by artist Charlie Gillespie) to this book. It looks and brands itself like a paperback cover with the story hinted at and the main characters of issue one on show. It looks great and is the sort of cover that shows a heavy Detective/Horror street level vibe and would make me reach out for it in a comic shop (remember those?) It does not however match the art inside. The interiors by Robert Ahmad are solidly in the Michael Avon Oeming range of cartooning. As a reader I object to neither style, in fact quite the opposite but thought that it was worthy of a mention.

The antagonist follows that design style that we saw on DC Comics/Archie Comics and Dark Circle’s long-standing Hangman character as well as the seventies Werewolf By Night Hangman villain. There’s nothing wrong with that and the actual hanging we see in the first issue is used to a nice page turn shock effect. 

The writing flows through the comic and takes some time in building the characters. They do fall into cliche slightly - driven Detective, Family man partner, Captain who chews you out for results, corrupt narcotics officer, fat mob boss and so on. This can be used as shorthand in a story like this and I honestly found it familiar rather than annoying. I’m often critical of first issues, especially recently, that they lack action and spend time needlessly in exposition - none of this here! By the time that you hit page six we’ve already seen a few bucketloads of blood and some crafty shotgun action.

The investigation to catch the Hangman reads well although is seemingly solved with a simplicity that almost comes out of the blue and that leads me to believe there is something else going on that we are yet to see. I’m already keeping my eye on the cast to see who will get revealed as this vigilante. The issue ends on a violent cliff-hanger that has me wanting to read issue two as soon as possible.

I haven’t seen Robert Ahmad’s art for over a year at this point and he is improving in leaps and bounds. There is a genuine comparison to be made here with the aforementioned Oeming as well as artists like J Bone or even Tim Sale. He is mastering some great facial acting and even though it has a cartoony aspect the violence manages to be surprising and realistically brutal. I am however curious about some of the lighting effects in the colouring they seem to be showing a glow effect a lot, especially when Cass is in a panel. I’m curious as to whether this is part of some future storytelling twist?

You can find out more about the writer Ben Cook on Twitter @bjfranciscook and buy copies of this issue here https://gumroad.com/bjfranciscook I’m going to say that £4 for a digital copy is a little high.

You can find Robert Ahmad here https://www.deviantart.com/bedtime143 and on Twitter @rob_ahmad_art

Find some amazing 2000 AD and Warrior inspired art over at Charlie Gillespie’s page here https://charlie_gillespie.artstation.com/ and follow him on Twitter @CGillespieUK

You can sign up for the Comichaus App or visit the website here https://www.comichaus.com/ Read loads of great indie titles or if you are a creator load your books on there and start earning.

Many thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

In Review - ‘Nocturnal Commissions’ from Polite Strangers.

Nocturnal Commissions.

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!

Highly recommended.

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

In Review - ‘Starship Down’ issue 1 from Dark Horse Comics.

Starship Down - issue 1.

Written by Justin Giampaoli.
Art by Andrea Mutti.
Colours by Vladimir Popov.

22 pages - Full Colour - £3.99.
Published by Dark Horse Comics.

The Story - ‘Mankind discovers its startling origin! A cultural anthropologist consults with US Naval Intelligence to investigate the discovery of an extraterrestrial ship buried under the ice for thousands of years in Siberia. The meddling Russians, Vatican officials, the international media spotlight, and her own insecurities all threaten her efforts to keep the fabric of society from crumbling.’ 

(Spoiler Material at the end of this review).

The Review - This was an impulse buy for this bored self-isolating comics reading adult from the profoundly overpriced but have me by the balls ComiXology. £3.99?!?! Really? I based the impulse on a couple of factors. Firstly that Dark Horse rarely put a foot wrong in my opinions and two Andrea Mutti has the sort of well-crafted realistic style that I am drawn to over and over. I hadn’t heard from the writer before but after some Googling I have discovered that he is reasonably new to the profession of writing comics but does have some Small Press projects under his belt and has been writing for the Comic Bulletin for quite a while.

The cover is a little understated and shows the central character Dr Young standing in what appears to be an archeological dig with a skull on the floor at her feet. It’s a tiny bit misleading and doesn’t really hint at the science fiction elements strongly enough. (Although there is a hint of flying saucers on a wall cave painting). When I first looked at it I thought that Young may have been ‘turned’ or ‘the undead’ through the strange colouring?

This comic actually opens like the first twenty pages of a BD album. Something like ‘Carthago’ or ‘Irons’. It spends a lot of time building the characters and setting the stage/s. It also tracks like the first twenty minutes of a disaster movie with impressive ariel views and some melodramatic conversational exposition. It must be said that if you are looking for a comic that is fast-paced or action packed this will most certainly not be your bag. In fact apart from the last couple of pages which could be classed as ‘action’ but in many ways are just ‘scene setting’ there’s not much that goes on in this comic apart from a lot of talking and a couple of impressive looking wide-shots.

That’s not to say that some of the dialogue can really intrigue the reader. I was ready to opt out and mark it up at four quid down the drain when we get the arrival of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Dominick Arns is outstanding and the perfect antagonist in the situation. Whilst outwardly pompous, rude and overbearing he also brings up the theme of Science v Religion but adds and extra element making it Science v Religion + Alien Spaceship.

You cultural anthropologists are the worst breed of scientists as far as the Vatican is concerned.’

And the rather creepily commented upon;

Yes, we know ALL your sins Commander.’

As I read I am trying not to second guess the story that will continue in future issues but I can’t help but hope that we get a bit of a ‘Chariot of the Gods’ vibe going further. It's the one thread of narrative that seems original in a rather predictable book.


The spaceship design is a little bit obvious and uninspiring and looks a little like a squashed version of the USS Defiant.It could have done with something slightly more original.


When the scientific team finally get into the crashed spaceship they discover smashed stasis tubes that contain what they describe as ‘Neanderthals’ but in fact just look like Terry Jones in a wig from an old Monty Python episode.

I’ll be honest and say that I probably won’t stick with this as a monthly but may consider picking it up in trade if one is eventually forthcoming. It’s a little too slow paced for my tastes and the price of £3.99 for 22 pages is far too high.

Not posting any links on this review as I think it may be better for you to save the cash.

Many thanks for reading.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

In Review - 'The Last Arrival'

 ‘The Last Arrival’ issue 1.

Written by Daniel A Prim.
Art by Gergely J. Szabo and Szabrina Maharita.
Letters by Toben Racicot.

Published by Tripolar Comics.
(Previously – ‘Free Fantasy Comics’ as shown on the cover).
41 pages – Full Colour - £6.00.

Here’s what the comic tells us about itself on the old back cover blurb;

‘Planet C'adaei is in danger.
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.'

(Avoid the description of this comic on the Comichaus App as it contains big spoilers for the end of issue 1).

The Review – This is the first in a series and looking at the Tripolar Comics site I see that there is another issue released and available for sale. I found this to read on the Comichaus digital comics reading app. The cover has taken care to showcase the central characters on the cover but isn't making use of the deadspace around them. This could/should have a much more dramatic image to pull the eye in and get a reader to pick it up. The character images are also much too small to work out when browsing digitally.

I have to admit to finding the text/prologue/introduction page a nightmare to read, and to be honest I didn't bother in the end. The choice of background colours and text make it quite difficult. This is something however that could easily be fixed in future presentations of the comic. These days a designer always has to consider the possibility that their comic will be read on atablet with a back light.

From straight off the bat you can recognise that this is a well thought out and visually inventive story. The organic techno variety of the machines, spacecraft and living environments has some real old school sci-fi inventiveness. There is a relaxed style to the narrative that allows the reader to fully bed-in with the characters and their world/worlds before pushing back into the action adventure elements. The writing takes care to delineate a family feel to this story, not unlike Lost in Space but in a weirdly much more alien way. This has that exploration at all costs feel to it but added with some pre-Star Wars sixties/seventies science fiction that is wonderfully strange and a tiny bit disconcerting.

To add to the haunting quality of the atmosphere and story beats the writer makes some excellent use of wordless panels and pages. There are sequences that have some great pacing to them throughout issue 1.

As I’ve said above this is the first issue and there are a few teething problems on show. The colour is used in the character designs and is a little overplayed and lacks subtlety. We almost recognise people by the skin colour – green, blue, grey etc. This isn’t needed and a few more conversation centric close-ups would solve this problem. As aliens they can still have personality to their features. These colours are just far too strong. There is also a reveal at the end that kind of feels like the last two pages of issue one are in the wrong order. A reversal might cause less head scratching? 

There are six pin-ups in the back of the book that vary in quality and don’t really add anything to the story and are worth reconsidering as an added extra for future issues.

This is a book that shows some great promise and a genuine attempt to try something fresh. I will be looking out for issue 2 when it hits Comichaus.

You can find more about this series and the other books on offer at Tripolar Comics over at their website here https://www.tripolar.co.uk/about or follow them on Twitter here https://twitter.com/tripolarcomics

This is what the creators from Tripolar Comics had to say about themselves on their site;
‘We aim to make comics that are original, fun, creative and cerebral. We work in a wide variety of genres from gut-wrenching horror to fun kids adventures, hence the name TRIPOLAR COMICS. We are constant in changing.’

Many thanks for reading.