Welcome to a new New Comic Book Day.
There’s a host of comic book goodies waiting for you at your local comic book shop.
This week I’m going to have a quick look at three different comics, each of which I have some strong opinions about. But before that here is a few worthy mentions:
The Avant-Guards from BOOM! Studios. Carly Usdin and Noah Hayes bring you an enjoyable Teen Sports drama in the vain of Fence and SLAM!. It’s a fun and surprisingly clever little comic, thanks in part to the colour work by Rebecca Nalty and the lettering by Ed Dukshire who each help create the emotional atmosphere. My review is here if you want to know more.
There is also the final issue of Low Road West from BOOM! Studios and Oliver, a retelling of Charlies Dicken’s Oliver Twist with a…twist..(sorry) from Image comics.
The best comic I’ve read this week is a reboot of a much loved T.V. classic: Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Jordie Bellaire (colourist extraordinaire and writing/creator of Redlands) hits the ground running and delivers a wonderful script which shows so much respect for the source material while being an exciting new read.
Dan Mora’s art work is also a perfect fit for this re-imaging. His figure work and rendering of the central characters is outstanding. Sunnydale feels so familiar but at the same time full of new mysteries.
New fan or old, you will love this comic and be glad to be back in the Buffy-verse.
Full review here where I mention everyone involved with the comic.
I tried, I really did. I’ve read all three issues out so far and hoped I would find something in it that I liked. But I just can’t.
Go-Bots from IDW is an awful comic. Trying to accept the flaws as charming didn’t work and by this third issue it’s reached a point where it’s almost unreadable.
The characters lack any individual voice and it’s hard to tell who is talking on some of the pages. Not that it really matters because the dialogue is cringe worthy and tired. The story softly mocks one classic sci-fi movie while out right stealing the plot from another.
As in previous issues the art work is simplistic. Whether you like this style or not is irrelevant because the layout of the panels and pages make it difficult to enjoy the art on any level. The panels are so crammed in that there is no breathing room on any of the pages. It creates an unwanted claustrophobic feeling that has no place in the comic.
It’s difficult to tell what the tone of the comic should be as it swings from the menacing AI threat to daft Exploration of a new world and back again without any smooth flow in the narrative. Some of the Robotic character reveals are laughable but I’m not sure this was the intention.
I’m sure there is a fan base out there for Go-Bots but I think they are being let down by Tom Scioli. This is not a very well-constructed comic as each element fails to help the storytelling process The narrative ends up disappearing beneath ill-conceived layouts, over simplistic art work, faulty lettering and, above all, a script that would make Ed Wood cringe.
Crypt of Shadows from Marvel (Yes, Marvel!) is an old school horror comic reminiscent of EC’s Tales from The Crypt.
Written by Al Ewing, the comic comprises three stories with the central character from the first acting as a narrator for the other two. Framed by the safety of a therapist’s office, the patient tries to explain his fear of dogs by telling two creepy stories each with a horrific ending. Ewing spins a wonderful web of terror and each chapter is eerily drawn by a separate artist: Garry Brown, Stephen Green, and Djibril Morissette-Pham.
The narrative progression throughout this stand-alone story is wonderful. As the story unfolds and all the links click into place the whole proves to be better than the sum of its parts. Like any old school horror there are tense moments, humorous moments, and outright scary moments.
My personal favourite section is the framing story involving the central character in therapy but this is because I love Garry Brown’s art work. He has an expressive style with occasionally heavy handed inking which intensifies the more disturbing panels.