Comic Review: Bounce House Bazaar

Bounce House Bazaar is a small 48-page anthology comic consisting of 4 stories written by Tony Mcmillen. Mcmillen is not only the writer of each of the stories written, but […]

Bounce House Bazaar is a small 48-page anthology comic consisting of 4 stories written by Tony Mcmillen. Mcmillen is not only the writer of each of the stories written, but he is also the illustrator of two of the four stories.

The four stories contained within this book are the action espionage, Grapeshot: Man of Lethal Leisure (espionage /action), Sawn-Off Shogun (heroic bloodshed action), A Theater Near You (horror story), and Batman (a semi-autobiographical story). Each story is self-contained and filled with different genres. Of the 4 stories that were most enjoyable, it was Grapeshot and Batman that really stuck with me, primarily due to Tony Mcmillen doing the writing, and the art for those two particular stories.

Grapeshot is a story focused on an assassin for hire who is on a mission to dispose of a serum called Luca, which is a cure for cancer. This story stood out to me due to Mcmillen’s art style which contains very sketchy, erratic linework full of thick, expressive inks, accompanied by beautiful watercolor, providing visual contrasts that are enjoyable to the eye. The story is well written with narratives that parallel the action, exuding a sense of melancholic, yet humorous irony. The story is fast-paced and nicely crafted, making this one a standout. Sawn-Off Shogun is an action-packed tale that exudes a range of influences that any Frank Miller and Geof Darrow fan can appreciate. Nicola Bonometto co-plots and illustrates this heroic bloodshed of a tale that wastes no time, nor blood.

Ben Granoff co-writes and primarily illustrates A Theater Near You, which is a slasher horror story set in a movie theater. Granoff is an expert at cartooning, and his style really suits the story. It’s got humor, but it knows how to balance it with genuine dread, ensuring that safety is nowhere to be found within this tale. The last story, Batman, is capped off by Tony Mcmillen who writes a surreal, semi-autobiographical story about his exposure to the Tim Burton Batman 1989 film, and the synergy of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. It’s an interesting lens into how the influence of the character impacted Mcmillen’s work and how it changed him since his youth.

The art is beautiful to look at, and reminds me of the sort of stuff that Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Mckean, and some of the artists on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman in regards to his use of ink, textures with watercolor, line work and form in his style, that suits the kind of tone for that kind of story. I recommend checking this book out if you’re interested in checking out creators that currently live amongst us, that are prolific and active in their line of work. Shoutout to 222degreees for recommending to check out this book.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

About Anthony Andujar Jr.