Small Press Sunday Roundup: March 23, 2014
As always, one of our main goals here at Comic Booked is to build strong relationships with the small press publishers. To this end, I have a few great books to review with you this week. As usual, I have a massively bulging… inbox, full of wonderful comic book goodies for everyone. This week’s Small Press Sunday is full of lions and tigers and hackers, oh my! And whatever else I can fit into it.
Pridelands #1 – From Rocket Blast Comics, here’s an interesting comic detailing life in two separate areas, Africa and India, among a pride of lions and a streak of tigers. I had to look that last one up, so comic books are educational. In reading this, I was drawn back to Disney’s The Lion King, at least until I got a few pages in and saw how dark and gritty this comic really was. Pridelands is a tale of a family of tigers in India suffering because of a shortage of food made worse by a fire that drives them from their homes. Needless to say, this causes some marital strife. Meanwhile in Africa, a family of lions is preparing for the delivery of their litter. At the same time, the evil hyenas are preparing for vengeance. Overall an interesting story for their first comic. I liked it, although there were some frames where the word balloons were not placed as well as I would like so as not to cover the art. Created, written, and lettered by Dallas Wilson with art by Salathiel Anacleto, Pridelands #1 will be released on June 1st, so contact your LCS and let them know you want it.
Venezia #1 & #2 – This is a great story of revenge starring a female assassin and set in Venice in the 16th Century. This is a bloody tale of a woman bent on avenging the death of her parents. There are some great fight scenes and some beautiful scenes of the city. Overall, this is a strong story and the second issue adds some twists and turns that really left me impressed. Pick up the special edition and get treated to the entire story colored and then, in the back of the book, just the bare pencils of this cool story as well as some other background on the characters and the creators. As issue #2 opens, we can get a sort of origin story of Venezia, or Selena, as her real name is revealed. Once again we see the troubled past and questions that plague her life. She was married, and her husband is now dead, but how is still a mystery to the readers. Overall, this is a complex character and very interesting to read about. I recommend this for anyone with a love of Assassin’s Creed or even Batman fans. Venzeia is created by Wolf Beaumont and Brian McCranie.
Hacktivity #1 – There has been so much in the news lately about hackers stealing credit card info and people leaking secret documents, that when you see a comic book about it you almost have to think maybe they are just rehashing what is on the latest news feed. With Hactivity, you would not be more wrong. Hacktivity is written by Ovi Demetrian Jr. and drawn by James Whynot. It is a fine line between activist and terrorist, at least when it comes to revealing secrets that the government wants kept out of the public eye. This is the story of Shawn Harris who goes by the online name of T.F., a guy who blogs about all the wrongs that the security agencies of the United States perpetrate against the people on a daily basis. As an activist hacker, Shawn is soon hunted by the FBI and caught. The courts find him guilty, but on his way to prison, some other hackers intervene. His future? Uncertain, but what is certain is that we have not heard the last from T.F, the Twisted Firestarter.
Myth #1, #2, and #3 – It is always a great thing when a creator does what they do with a charity in mind. That is what makes this last member of our Small Press Sunday column a great project. The comic series is really good, too. Written by Mike Loniewski and drawn by Dan Lauer, Myth tells the tale of an orphan boy who is in about the worst situation for a young child, the helplessness of being in an uncontrollable situation with abusive adults and no hope of salvation. The tables turn when the boy runs away to the woods that he has been warned about his entire life and finds a world of magic beyond any dangers he had ever dreamed of. The first issue is all about the boy being saved by a giant and befriending him. They spend time together and the boy teaches the giant about comic books and heroes, reminiscent of the scenes from the movie Iron Giant. The power of this story is the journey that the boy goes through, from feeling powerless to being a hero, from losing everything to finding the one thing he really needed, a home. I truly loved this series. The creators of Myth partnered with Childhelp, a group created to help victims of child abuse and neglect. By purchasing their comic through Comixology, you are making a donation towards Childhelp.
That’s probably all that, or more than, you have attention for this week. I hope you enjoyed these reviews and check out these great books. A big thank you to all the awesome creators that have given us the opportunity to review their books. If you are a small press creator and are interested in having your book included in this column, just send us a message.