Independent Comic Book Review Roundup! (Various Publishers)

I have a love of independent comic books and comic book creators! I have to admit, much of it is because I am one. Over the last few months, I […]

I have a love of independent comic books and comic book creators! I have to admit, much of it is because I am one. Over the last few months, I have been given a bunch and I finally had a day where I could read and review ‘em all.

In alphabetical order by title, here are several comic books and creators that are worth your time!

By the way, I will be using the phrase “worth your time” a great deal in these reviews.

Let’s jump right into it:

BALANCE

C. Demitras, Creator

In this stand alone publication, we meet the unusual performers of The Outcast Ring before their year circus performance called The Annual. The ringmaster Amadea makes a deal with Tovic, who has the power to restore her sight so she can see the show one last time. However, it ends up costing Tovic more than he bargained for.

REVIEW:

Chelsea Demitras is a talented artist and writer with a flair for the unusual. Her art style is reminiscent to the amazing Kurt Belcher and has a formless gothic quality about it. The story itself is a bit open ended and could leave the reader wanting more, but I believe this piece was to showcase her talent – which she has a considerable amount of.

Her characters are unusual and look like they stepped out of an old time Charles Addams cartoon and seem as if they were created at the turn of the 19th Century in Victorian London.

The work of Demitras is worth more than a glance, it is worth a following!

Visit her site here and you can purchase the comic there.

***

CAPTAIN CLOCKWORK SPECIAL

Glenn Whitmore, Writer/Artist

In the future, a family of “time keepers” works to stop several time-traveling androids from wrecking history. It turns out there is something more and Deanna, the youngest of the Captain Clockworks, seeks to find the truth.

REVIEW:

Comic book creator Glenn Whitmore has popped up in Archie Comics and in other areas of the comic book universe and sharing this tale is good old fashioned science fiction fun.

 The story and art are capable and have a very Bruce Timm-meets-Golden Age of Comics styles that is fun. The story has the right amount of depth and fun.

 Find out more about Captain Clockwork here.

***

Cascade 1 cover

Cascade_2_ cover

CASCADE #1 & #2

Chris Canibano, Writer

Larry Nadolsky, Artist

Chris Canibano & Renato Arrais, Colors

Steve Kuster, Letters

Liam Webb, Editor

Mark and Sue are an unmarried couple who discover Sue is pregnant. Mark pushes to meet Sue’s family, but Sue is hesitant. They travel to her hometown, which is called Cascade, and end up in a rainstorm and meet Sue’s ex-boyfriend Steve, who owns a small town gas station.

Throughout the journey odd things happen, ie. the car breaks down, GPS acts up and so on. Sue implies her ex-boyfriend Steve is responsible for some of it. Yet Steve offers to give them a ride to her house and when they arrive it looks like your typical haunted house.

The second issue, finds the three of them stepping inside the creepy house only to find that Sue’s family is gone. A search of the house, finds their remains in the attic and the three of them hide out in the barn.

However, that’s when the real twist of the story happens.

REVIEW:

This two-part story could’ve been told in one issue. Midway through the first issue, the story dragged. As for the art it is serviceable, but the perspectives are a little off, the color needs to be toned down.

Does this mean readers should avoid it? No, it has a nice twist and the art is better than in some indy comics that are out there and it is worth a glance.

Give “Cascade” a shot here, it is entertaining.

***

Early artwork from CHASING RABBITS #1

 CHASING RABBITS #1

Spokelane Entertainment

Ryan Colucci, Writer

Zsombor Huszka, Artist

Karol Wisniewski, Letter

Joseph Schiliro, Editor

In this re-telling of ALICE OF WONDERLAND, Alice is a cop for the Wonderland P.D. is working to solve crime in this twisted and graphic tale.

REVIEW:

Writer Ryan Colucci made a name for himself as the writer behind the werewolf tale HARBOR MOON. In this re-telling of ALICE, he brings the same creepy charm that made him famous in HABOR MOON.

Colucci has this habit of surrounding himself with talented artists like Zsombor Huszka. Huszka’s art is both surreal, gory and excellent.

Colucci proves himself to be an amazing comic book writer! Check him out here.

***

COMICALLY ABSURD COMICS OVERSIZED SPECIAL

Pronto Comics

Patrick J. Reilly, Writer

Tom Gambino, Artist

Alex Amitrano, Janimal, Chris Brimacombe, Pixie Lafurious, Add’l Artists

$6.00

 Patrick J. Reilly (no relation to the Patrick Reilly of ELECTROLYTE) shares several absurd stories that poke fun of the comic book industry. It features jokes such as two bats debate Batman’s homosexuality, a Deadpool parody, a Garfield/Garfield minus Garfield, and take on the classic Bugs Bunny vs. cartoonist Looney Tunes episode.

 REVIEW:

 Before I begin this, I have to admit that I have a personal stake regarding Pronto Comics. I am working with them on a project or two, but with that being said, this comic is a lot of fun. If you pardon the obvious pun, it is “absurd.”

 Each of the tales is silly and just supposed to be a minute of fun and escape. Reilly is establishing him as a writer in the New York/New Jersey metro area and with this comic it’s easy to see how he will.

 Visit Pronto Comics here.

***

THE DODGEBALL TEENS #4

Mouli 51 Comics

Emilio Velez Jr., Writer & Artist

The Dodgeball Teens are a group high school students who share a love of dodgeball and encounter their share of adventures. In this issue, the Amazing Seymour is a magician who has a desire for respect. When his show gets a little out of hand and the audience reacts poorly, this puts him on a path of revenge. Thanks to the Dodgeball Teens from Team Xtreme, Seymour’s evil shenanigans are put to rest.

This story is followed up by team member Jenny, fighting an angry oyster in a bowl of soup, in this tribute to the old Abbott and Costello bit.

REVIEW:

Emilio Velez Jr. is a fixture in the independent comic book scene in the New Jersey/New York area sharing his fun tale. While his art and story have a very elementary feel to it, that is its strength. In the comic book world filled with cynicism, black humor, dark heroes and blockbuster super powered individuals; someone like Velez is needed. His comic books are family friendly and have a very pop culture driven sense of humor.

Pick it up here.

***

JUSTICE ANGEL #2

Artemis Entertainment

Tiffany Dang, Writer

Fernando Saavedra

Valerie Boris, Colorist & Letters

 Sarah, a young Chinese girl who lost her parents to a robbery, is growing up in a Buddhist Temple and she is learning about Chinese folklore.

As she grows older, she moves back home to live with her grandma who is now running the grocery store her parents ran.

REVIEW

In the last few months, I had the privilege of getting to know the work of Tiffany Dang. She is bringing a much needed perspective to the world of comic books.

 Her story is a slow burn and you can see where it is going, but I like the slow approach she is taking.

 The artwork continues to improve and this is fun!

 Check out my previous review of issue #1 here and check out her Dang’s stuff here.

***

THE MISADVENTURES OF ELECTROLYTE AND THE JUSTICE PURVEYORS #5 & #6

Jackalope Pictures

Patrick Reilly, Writer

Renato Mapa, Artist

Francesca Zambon, Colors

Wilson, Letters

Electrolyte is a clumsy super hero who has managed to clutz his way into coolness. He married the beautiful hero, Sparkler and they have a son. He spends his time with theh heros called the Justice Purveyors with the Capitalist, Scabie and the Sentence Finisher.

In issue #5, Electrolyte is coming to terms with his wife’s ex-boyfriend Conniption Fit. While she accuses Electrolyte of being jealous, it turns out Conniption Fit has not gotten over Sparkler and kidnaps her and Electrolytes kid.

In issue #6, Electrolyte rescues his wife and kid from Conniption Fit. However, he is recruited by the mayor of the City of Megalopolis to go after the villain Think Tank, and so he does.

REVIEW:

I have always been a fan of writer Patrick Reilly (not to be confused by the comedian and comic book writer over at Pronto Comics). I have always loved Electrolyte and once again Reilly gives us two new stories. Electrolyte is to super heroes what Maxwell Smart was to Secret Agents.

Pick up both issues! They are hands down, so much fun!

Check Electrolyte here.

***

SAURIAN ERA

Cory Mathis, Writer & Artist

In the savage wilderness outside of the world known as Redland, dinosaurs run wild while men live in nearby villages. One villager is a dinosaur wrangler and traps himself a Tyrannosaurus rex. He brings it home and the story ends with him working to domesticate it.

REVIEW:

A friend of mine was in New Zealand and I asked him to get me a comic book while there and brought me back this little comic by Cory Mathis. A quick net search finds that Mathis is a talented animator and artist. This little story works well and is worth checking out.

I am unaware if his comic is available in the U.S. but you can find out more about Mathis here.

About Don Smith

Before self publishing ‘Ghost Investigator’ under the Spirited Comics Publication banner, Smith has written comic books for Heske Horror and Bluewater Comics. His bio comics, ‘Political Power: Ronald Reagan’ and ‘Political Power: Rush Limbaugh’ garnered national attention on ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ and ‘The New York Times.’ His upcoming comic ‘American Defenders: The Army’ gives a history of the United States Army. Smith also garnered acclaim with his latest history book, THE GOFFLE ROAD MURDERS OF PASSAIC COUNTY, that detailed the first murders in Passaic County, New Jersey and their unusual connection the administration of President William McKinely and Vice President Garret Hobart.

Visit his site at http://donsmithwrites.wordpress.com.