One of our main goals here at Comic Booked is to support the small press publishing community. The Small Press Sunday column was created with that goal in mind, as a way to spotlight the many comics that are created by small press publishers each and every month. This week I have a few great comics to round up for you.
Leftovers #4 – The lastest issue of the Leftovers series from creator Jason Pittman begins a new three issue arc. This story focuses on Kaleb, a man with anxiety disorder. Kaleb meets a girl named Addey who he falls in love with. This leads to an inner struggle as Kaleb begins to believe that perhaps he only loves her because of the medication that he is taking to control his anxiety. I enjoyed this story but more than that I loved the way that the entire story is in black and white except for two characters, a “hero” and a “villain”. Both characters look like Kaleb and they represent the two sides of his mind that battle for control. One saying it is best to be the calm manageable person that he is while taking his medication and the other, darker self, who says that he should be free of this medication and should be sure that he really loves Addey. Overall a very interesting interpretation of a slice-of-life type of comic. Check out Leftovers #4 here.
Cutthroats and Buccaneers #1 – Another new series from Rocket Blast Comics, producers of Pridelands. With their new comic, Cutthroats and Buccaneers #1, Toby Persaud and Sam Shulman tell a tale of pirates. This first issue focuses on a young boy telling of how he dreamed of being a pirate from the time he was born because he never knew his father and there was a rumor that it could have been Blackbeard himself. Living in the streets, getting beaten by the soldiers for stealing a loaf of bread, all in a day’s work for two urchins. I like the way the story is told in two parts, the first of a bloodthirsty pirate in a deadly sea battle and the second, the story of how that same pirate became who he was today when, as a child, he met Captain Benjamin Hornigold, a true pirate. He was a rough and tough man, but he teaches the boys to stand up for themselves and that is a lesson that sticks with him. The story was pretty good, although some of the frames are hard to follow, and the art is very simple, but in a way that almost puts me in mind of someone drawing a comic back in the 1700’s where the story is set.
Energyman #1 – Also from Rocket Blast Comics, Mark Stanislawski created an interesting new comic that starts out with a huge explosion in the town of Alamargodo, New Mexico. There is only one survivor of the blast, and he appears to be unscathed. Robert Galway, the survivor begins to exhibit strange powers, flame, flight, that no one can explain and he is shortly moved to Area 51. The scientists are eager to begin their testing while the leadership is not as eager as they are worried about what this man could be capable of doing to them all. Testing proceeds and the scientists find that Rob, as he prefers to be called, can lift heavy objects, fly, and just about do anything that has to do with changing his own molecular energy. The final test is to have him fly to the moon and back, which he does in seconds. the next day, seeing a major problem happening in Iran, Rob takes it upon himself to travel there and diffuse a terrorist situation. He is beginning to see that his powers can be used for good. Meanwhile an alien entity has landed on Earth and what can this mean for our still wet behind the ears hero? Artwork looks good in black and white, although I would love to see it with some colors, and the story is really easy to follow and looks like it could be a fun superhero book. Check them out at Rocket Blast Comics.
Finally, I wanted to do a review of a comic book that I have had for a couple of months, but it is still just so good, and such an original idea, that it is worth checking out. It also helps that this story has been made into a film starring Chris Evans who is currently in theaters as Captain America. Check out this great title from Titan Comics.
Snowpiercer Vol 1. The Escape- This is the story of the last surviving humans. In Snowpiercer, humanity has not been relegated to an underground sanctuary or some technological future city or even to some alien planet. The lest remnant of humanity lives on a train. The train is 1,001 cars long and is divided into a class system that sets your value as a human based on which car you live on. The closer to the engine, the more valuable and more wealthy you are. Written by Jacques Lob and with some great art by Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer tells of a time on the train when people in the tail were living in squalor and one man fights against the odds to make a better place for himself. There is so much to this story, being 112 pages long, that I cannot do the story itself justice here, but it is worth reading. The English version, translated from the original French, is available now from Titan Comics and can be found on Amazon. You can also read Snowpiercer Vol 2. – The Explorers.
If that is not enough for you, Snowpiercer has been made into a major motion picture, released in certain overseas markets last year and finally has a United States release date now. Coming June 27, 2014, be sure to watch Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans, John Hurt, Song Kang-Ho, and Jamie Bell. As a closing treat, check out the international trailer and then tell me you do not want to watch this awesome looking movie from Korean director Bong Joon-ho.