Small Press Year End Wrap-up
This year has been a big one for many companies getting their comic books out there. Here at Comic Booked, we hold a special place open for small press publishers and really try to get the word out about new companies. Since I started writing for Comic Booked in September, I have had the opportunity to check out several very good, and a few not so good, comics from smaller publishers.
One of the great companies that I started a relationship with this year is Titanium Comics. You can refresh your memories on my original article and my reviews of two of their books, Age of Darkness and The Arcane. They have a total of four comics out now, first issues all released in November, with second issues due out in February. I’ll give you a quick rundown of their other two books.
Death Raye, Titanium’s third offering, is a great looking sci-fi book. The artwork is awesome. The story, about rebel forces fighting for their planet against better equipped imperial type forces makes sense, but there is an additional element of a girl, or maybe two girls, since one is blonde and one is a redhead, and there is a past and present component that just makes the whole story a little disjointed. I spoke with folks at Titanium and they have made some changes to the book that should clear things up with issue two in February.
To wrap up the roster, The Fraternity has a really cool premise and some good artwork. Set in the 1880’s, this story focuses on a secret society. One member of this group has created a machine that allows him to take over people’s bodies, within certain limits. The idea is that this could be used to give paralyzed individuals use of their bodies again, but, like all great scientific discoveries, there are people out to use it for evil. The inventor is the first suspect so he uses another prototype of the machine to escape confinement to hunt down the person responsible. A great setup for a mystery with some cool science fiction stuff wrapped up in it.
Another company with an interesting take on survival of the fittest is JBSK Comics. I got a copy of Penguins Vs. Possums #4 from creator Sebastian Kadlecik and wanted to give them a quick review in my year end wrap up. When I was first told about this comic, I only heard the title… and I was not sure what to make of it. Then I got it and read it and it was completely not what I expected. If you want a gritty battle for the survival of all life on planet earth that is heavily reminiscent of early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, check out this book. This is a black & white book, but the art is really good. There is a secret war going on between the penguins and the possums and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
This year I got connected up with Amigo Comics and got to review their newest book, Lunita, and you can read the full review here. Amigo has several other comics out there that you should also check out. Rogues is a cool looking series about, well, rogues. The art on all their offerings is very cool and the writing is great. You can read more about them at their website.
Finally, for your consideration, Robochuck from Turtlebunny Productions. This is a great satire written from the perspective of cartoons, well, one cartoon in particular, about the changing face of animation. Flattown is the home of all the standard animation cartoons, basic two-dimensional drawings and paintings. This is almost like the ghetto or the town of has-beens who are in fear of being pushed out completely by new computer generated animation. They have some great stuff like Piczar run by the evil Don Masshurter and Robochuck, the computer generated robot who wants to be more than just a prop used to make people laugh or Inksplat Magee, former cartoon crime-fighter turned computer animator and, coincidentally, Robochuck’s adopted father. As Robochuck’s father is taken away by the police at the end of the first issue, I want to know what will happen. What is Robochuck’s destiny? Will he bring back the marvel and wonder that was Flattown? I can’t wait to read more. I love the animation, a mix of computer generated graphics and standard animation, along with color shifts from color to black and whites. A fun and interesting story.
This year was a big year for a lot of companies, and I am very honored to have been able to read and review so many new books from these great companies. Please check them out and leave comments here if you have read any of theim and have some insight or recommendations. Here at Comic Booked our focus is bringing you everything that is great about comics… and some of the not so great stuff, too. 2014 will be a big year as we push ahead to bring you more small press offerings and more looks inside the huge business that the comic book industry has become.