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Review: Polybius Dreams by Ben Grisanti, Keith Grachow, and Ester Salguero

Polybius Dreams http://www.polybiusdreams.com is a 40-page, full color, suspense/horror comic written by Ben Grisanti, illustrated by Keith Grachow, and colored by Ester Salguero, with pin-ups by Kelly Williams, Shawn Daley, and Jordan Kroeger. Published by Hypnotic Dog Comics.

Travel back to the ‘80s and return to the time of arcades in Polybius Dreams! In this four-part series we start off meeting three friends, Patrick, Michael, and Paul that escape the bullying at school through the excitement of blinking lights and ringing bells at the local arcade. All seems normal until one day when a new game arrives. Polybius Dreams. Once the game is up and running every kid in town wants to play, but playing appears to somehow change the kids, making them more violent, more sinister! But what effect will the mysterious game have on Patrick, Michael, and Paul?!

The writing does a great job of introducing the main characters and setting the small town, 1980s scene. The dialogue between the characters flows smoothly and reads like natural conversations. The plot slowly reveals itself without feeling forced or rushed. And the cliffhanger ending of this first chapter leaves you wanting more! The art is full of different body types, expressive faces, and individual personal features that distinguish each character. A lot of attention has also gone into the backgrounds filling them with subtle details that give each scene a sense of realism and weight that grounds the story in the real world. The coloring of the comic is skillfully applied and treats lighting and shadows with a masterful touch! The bonus pin-ups at the end of the comic are a real treat too!

Head down to the arcade and experience Polybius Dreams for yourself at http://www.polybiusdreams.com and find more from Hypnotic Dog Comics at http://www.hypnoticdogcomics.com

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Review: White Cell Inoculation Chapter 4: The Verge

White Cell Inoculation Chapter 4: The Verge https://buff.ly/2wSfcnd is a 28-page, full color, futuristic mystery comic written and illustrated by Nicholas Melanshek.

In an apocalyptic future humanity has been pushed beyond its limits of sustainability, but a team of scientists are on the verge of a breakthrough that may just lead to immortality! Set against this backdrop, two sides battle to control the future and what’s left of civilization! As events unfold one agent finds himself pulled from the field and back to higher headquarters, only to be thrust suddenly into the middle of a surprise attack and the abduction of a very valuable asset!

Nick’s futuristic drama continues to deliver the excitement and intrigue in this fourth chapter of White Cell Inoculation! As always Nick pens entertaining and surprising action that moves the story in new directions with interesting twists. Nick also keeps up the inventive art style that gives the overall series a look that’s all its own. His skillful use of a limited color palette really brings a whole new and dynamic look to the pages that serve as the perfect complement to this spirited story!

Journey into the future with White Cell Inoculation at http://freefallcomics.com.au and find more at https://buff.ly/2wSfcnd

 

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Ismyre by B. Mure

Ismyre http://www.averyhillpublishing.com is a mystery/fantasy, all ages, 72-page, full color comic written and illustrated by B. Mure. Published by Avery Hill. Release date: 7th October 2017 (Bristol Comic and Zine Fair).

Ismyre tells the story of a lonely animal person sculptor living in a city full of other animal people. Some of the people have magical powers, some do not. The main character agonizes over a big project he has been commissioned to do for the city and while trying to work out the details meets a woman with strange powers. Meanwhile the Prime Minister seems to only be concerned about appearances while eco anarchists are setting off explosions of flora, tough kids are roaming the streets, and people are going missing!

The writing unfolds smoothly ensuring the story is easy to follow and maintains a steady pace as the plot becomes more complicated. The main character, Edward, is quickly established as a somewhat lonely and detached guy, while other characters are introduced to more clearly define Edward’s world and bring the reader effortlessly into this fantastical land! The artwork is composed of simple line drawings filled with bright contrasting cool and warm watercolors. The combination of colors, line work, and brushstrokes give Ismyre a busy look that fits in perfectly with the story and city setting!

Find Ismyre at the Bristol Comic and Zine Fair and online at http://www.averyhillpublishing.com and find more from B. Mure at http://www.bmurecreative.co.uk

 

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Amazing Age #3 of 5 from Alterna Comics

Amazing Age #3 of 5 https://buff.ly/2hgeASR is a 28-page, full color, all-ages, superhero action, comic written by Matthew D. Smith, with art by Jeremy Massie, and colors by Christine Brunson. Published by Alterna Comics.

Three average kids find themselves transported to a world where they are the superheroes one of them created in a homemade comic book. Now they must learn to hone their powers with help from a group of real heroes in their new world, and prepare to battle super villains! The action continues to build as Amazing Age crosses the halfway mark in this five-issue limited series!

The writing straightforwardly introduces the reader to the characters in this new world and explains the adversity that the three world-jumping kids now find themselves in. The art merges cartoonish realism with superhero fantasy to give the comic an appealing, old-school, silver-age look the really captures the drama and keeps the action moving seamlessly!

Experience the Amazing Age for yourself at https://buff.ly/2hgeASR and follow them on Twitter at @amazingagecomic and on FB at https://www.facebook.com/amazingagecomic/ and find more from Alterna Comics at https://www.alternacomics.com/

 

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Unit 44 by by Wes Locher and Eduardo Jiménez

Unit 44 https://buff.ly/2vkiT5c is a 100+page, Sci-Fi, action/humor graphic novel with story and letters by Wes Locher and illustrations and colors by Eduardo Jiménez. Published by Alterna Comics.

In this 100+page comedic tale a couple of inept agents working for a secret organization forget to pay rent on a storage unit that houses alien technology. Soon competing forces race to grab the tech for their own nefarious purposes while the agents attempt to redeem themselves by getting to it first! What follows is a humor filled, action packed, race to stop an alien invasion! Rednecks, scientists, secret agents, and little blue men all converge in this funny comic, and we finally learn what really happened at Roswell, NM!

The writing in this comic is full of tongue-in-cheek references and subtle one liners that build on the characters’ personalities and complement the absurdity of the various situations the characters find themselves in. Between the jokes and gags is a solid, funny story that’s well paced from beginning to end! The art also takes a humorous slant by exaggerating character features and movements, and dropping in a few sight gags too!

Explore what can be found inside Unit 44 at https://buff.ly/2vkiT5c and find more from Alterna Comics at https://www.alternacomics.com/

 

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Lilith Dark #3 by Charles C. Dowd

Lilith Dark #3 https://www.alternacomics.com/lilithdark is an all-ages, fantasy adventure, full color, 24-page, four-issue limited series written and illustrated by Charles C. Dowd. Published by Alterna Comics.

After following a kitten into an old tree, Lilith Dark finds herself in a strange underground world of beasties, spiders, and other strange creatures! Armed and aided by her odd sidekick, Lilith is ready to whomp some beastie butt, but her brother and big sister have other ideas. Can Lilith and her siblings escape the creepy creatures in this strange subterranean realm? Or will Lilith have to take matters into her capable hands and defeat the dastardly adversaries on her own?!

Charles C. Dowd delivers a fun, action filled comic with a great leading character! Lilith Dark is a tough, fearless little girl up for anything that comes her way. The perfect strong lead for any adventure story! She is written and illustrated as a believable little girl full of wonder and an active imagination. The supporting characters all lend complementary perspectives on the situations Lilith faces that help ground Lilith firmly in her fantastic world while also reinforcing the child like qualities that make Lilith Dark such an enjoyable character and fun comic!

Join Lilith Dark on her adventures at https://www.alternacomics.com/lilithdark and find more at http://lilithdark.com/

 

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Tomb of Horror #2 anthology from Swamp Line Comics

Tomb of Horror #2 http://www.swamplinecomics.com is a full color, 84-page, horror comic anthology written and illustrated by various creators with cover art by Jon Clark, compiled and edited by Kim Roberts, and design and layout by Chris Allen. Published by Swamp Line Comics.

In Baron Ubenstein, Troy Vevasis and Saul Haber start this series of scary stories off with a short haunting tell of a long dead castle owner that crawls out of the shadows to reclaim what is his!

Then in Blizzard, Jack Wallace, Dan Lauer, and Chris Allen ensure a greedy explorer gets a chilly surprise when dismisses native lore in the deep recesses of a dark cave!

Next in Der Shatten, Mariano Falzone, Alfredo Retamar, and Alfonso Marugo relate a unique tale that delves into the question of “does the man cast the shadow, or the shadow cast the man?!”

Later in Festering Madness, Chris Gates, Chandra Kelly, Robert Nugent, and Nikki Sherman share a bullied boy’s anguish as he turns to a special friend that offers to help him solve his problems once and for all!

After that we’re treated to a little futuristic debauchery titled Georgie Porgie, from the talented and depraved mind of James Johnson!

Then we step inside Hell House, where Jack Wallace, Francesco Conte, and Chris Allen send us on a treasure hunt that unearths a family secret!

Paul Bradford and Matt Olsen take us out to sea in High Seas: Undead People, a blood fest wrapped around zombie pirates!

Following a nuclear accident in southern Spain, Edgar Ascensão, Rafael Oliveira, and Raquel Rodrigues give us a horde of melting flesh beings in Invasion, and they’re devouring everyone in their path!

Then Kim Roberts, Denis Vermesse, and Nikki Sherman nudge us to look into The Mirror, where we learn even the most pleasing reflection can be deceptive and dangerous!

In The Night Terrors Podcast #17, Roddy McCance and Rolands Kalnins introduces us to an inquisitive young man that loses himself once he enters a mysterious computer game!

Something strange is going on and only one man can see it and stop it to save humanity in The Replacements, from JoJo King, Rahil Mohsin, and Nikki Sherman!

Money temps a couple of skeptics to go on a paranormal hunt in an old house in the piece Scarecrow, by Kim Roberts, Zaex Starzax, and Chris Allen, but the couple soon become believers when the supernatural makes a crashing entrance!

A mathematician finds his way to Hell through The Demonic Sudoku, from Julio Paz, Pietro Vaughn, and Nikki Sherman!

Next Marta Tanrikula, Valeriana Cretella, and E.T. Dollman try to keep things clean as they deal with the stench of a reclusive roommate in The Slob!

And to close things out we take a look Under the Bed, where Bryan Hoover, Ron Joseph, Jake Isenberg, and E.T. Dollman hide an unsuspecting guest to tuck us in tight!

Each story in this anthology offers a fresh take on timeless terrors. Between the pages there are well written tales of creepy things in the dark, creatures hidden out of sight, and conspirators plotting evil deeds! The art spans many styles, each rendered with a level of skill and talent that brings these tales of trepidation to life! The various writers, illustrators, and colorists provide an eerily enjoyable range of styles that clearly distinguish one story from the next and make Tomb of Horror #2 a great read just in time for the Halloween season!

You can enter the Tomb of Horror #2 at http://www.swamplinecomics.com and find more at https://www.facebook.com/swampline/

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The Ghost Cat by Charles Brubaker

The Ghost Cat #1 http://www.patreon.com/smallbug a 16-page, B&W, all-ages humor comic zine written and illustrated by Charles Brubaker.

In this inaugural issue we’re introduced to the champion of mistreated cats, The Ghost Cat! The Ghost Cat is an ordinary house cat by day, but once the kitty laps up a rather unusual substance he gains supernatural powers! Foes or felines beware! The Ghost Cat will seek you out and leave you with a mark you won’t soon forget! Oh, and you don’t want to know what happens if The Ghost Cat has to pay you a second visit!

Charles adds another personality to his ever growing pantheon of fur covered characters and, as always, he fleshes out this new tale with fun and finesse! Find more of Charles Brubaker’s funny stuff at http://www.gocomics.com/ask-a-cat/ and http://www.fuzzy-princess.com and http://bakertoons.tumblr.com/ and you can follow Charles’ toons on Twitter at @bakertoons

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Warren E. Elliott on Realm #8 (best of Everyman Comics) from Phantasy Press

Check the Database for some background on Everyman Studios and Phantasy Press.

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Latest mini-comics reviews by Rob Clough

Rob Clough takes a look at minis from Eleanor Davis, Kelly Froh, Sara Lautman, Anuj Shrestha and L. Nichols.

Source: High-Low: Minis: E.Davis, L.Nichols, K.Froh, A.Shrestha, S.Lautman