Future Corpsehttps://buff.ly/2rWvyOO is a 20-page, digest size, full color cover with black and white interior, anthology covering themes of feminism, anxiety, punk rock, immortality, labor, and robotic vacuums! Written and illustrated by Eva Muller. Published by Birdcage Bottom Books.
So here I am reading Future Corpse by Eva Muller and in occurs to me we’re all really different yet connected. I mean, sure the paths we follow through life define us, but the circumstances that put us on those paths is often beyond our control. In Future Corpse Eva illustrates a piece about growing up as a feminist in ‘90s Germany. She relates vignettes on bullying and music and general acceptance. Although I assume I’m a bit older than Eva, I too lived in Germany in the ‘90s, as an artist and an American soldier. I remember the punks, skinheads, and mopeds she writes about and here I am decades later reading her comic! Kinda neat.
Anyway, in addition to her recollection about coming of age in Germany, Eva goes on to share other interesting pieces such as the roamings of a Roomba, words of wisdom from a yoga posing Karl Marx, the sweet, sweet feeling of buying new clothes when you should really be buying food, and a silent piece about a Japanese demon anxiety snake!
Bell Timehttp://www.fredeggcomics.com is an 80-page, digest size, mostly two-tone with some full color pages, time travel comic written and illustrated by David Robertson. Published by Fred Egg Comics.
The bulk of this comic is made up of the main story, “Bell Time.” In that tale a young man is having a bad day at school when he hears a mysterious bell ring. Soon his life is turned upside down as he realizes he has become older all of a sudden and is now an adult in the same school! As he works out what is happening he also must contend with unruly and disrespectful kids that only see him as yet another authority figure! About halfway through Bell Time David takes an intermission and inserts a series of single page comics titled “School Tales.” Each of these provide short anecdotes about school life that is delivered from the pupil’s perspective. Then it’s back to the main story where our hero continues his struggle to make sense of things, figure out where that strange ringing is coming from, and keep bratty kids in an orderly line!
Malarkey #4https://buff.ly/36aXpdS is a 28-page, digest size, full color, autobio comic written and illustrated by November Garcia. Published by Birdcage Bottom Books.
In the pages of Malarkey #4 November shares several personal stories. Among her confessionals is one story about becoming obsessive over a band discovered a little late in life and another, which all comic creators will relate to, is about taking the plunge into comics and not getting the expected splash you anticipated! November goes on to offer travel tips from Tokyo and a not so romantic look at the loss of virginity while avoiding frogs! She continues by providing a brief look at the lengths her mother and others will go to for beauty, and the long shadow religious indoctrination casts. November closes things out by offering some words of advice to her younger self!
The stories are all written and drawn in a lighthearted manner that keeps the comic fun and upbeat, even when dealing with some self-deprecating subjects. The colors really work throughout this comic. At times color is only used as a background while at others it’s used to frame and bring attention to the subject. The palette also varies from pale tones that almost fade from notice to patches of vibrant and clashing hues that grabs your attention!
Calamine Prunt in Would A Turkey Vote For Christmas is a 34-page, single sided, mini size, illustrated anti-voting zine published by The Bubblegum Dada Corporation.
In this little mini zine Mr. Prunt receives some sound advice on voting as he prepares to go to the polls. Among the advice offered are helpful bits of wisdom such as voting only empowers a new master, keeps you in chains, and is like a hanged man begging for a more comfortable rope! You can indulge your anti-establishment tendencies in such insightfulness by contacting:
In The Tower in the Sea, we return to the world of Ismyre for another quiet and fantastical mystery tale set in an old world of ordinary magic. Off the coast of Ismyre, a group of illicit magicians have been gathering for years, schooling others in the ways of long-forgotten divinations. From high up in this forbidden home, a young scholar keeps dreaming visions of a terrible future and looks out across the ocean for answers…
Scumburbia #1https://buff.ly/2nxuKOk is a 40-page, digest size, black and white comic written and illustrated by Sam Grinberg.
In the pages of Scumburbia we meet a group of teens going through various stages of adolescents. Most of their activities revolve around high school and the changing relationships between friends, personal frustrations, and the isolation of youth. The main stories focus on a couple of younger punk kids trying to get to a local show, and a slightly older punk girl reflecting on the changes and challenges of growing up. Both stories are relatable as are the different characters that pop in and out of them.
The stories are entertaining and full of believable characters. The art is clean and makes great use of the black and white contrasts. The backgrounds are detailed and the characters are exaggerated just enough to keep some of the heavier tones underlying the stories from becoming too somber. Overall Sam slings the ink to paint a realistic setting of litter strewn hallways, dirty alleys, and filthy streets that make up this place called Scumburbia!
The Space Odditoriumhttps://buff.ly/2V2i1A3 is 12-page, full color, digest size, Sci-Fi fantasy comic written by Chris Calzia with art by Dave Law. Published by Public Restroom Comics.
This is a standalone mini companion piece to volumes 1 and 2 of The Space Odditorium. The ‘70s psychedelic art style is what grabbed my attention to this comic, then the story hooked me! It’s pretty short but jumps right in without a lot of exposition. A member of a holographic family questions if free will exist or not as he contemplates how the last human can be used as a weapon against alien overlords.
The art is popping with bright colors, halftone dots, and unconventional compositions! This serves as a great introduction to The Space Odditorium series as it familiarizes the reader with the central character, setting, and showcases the impressive art!
Horn Doghttps://punapress.com (multiple issues) is a various page count, full size, black and white comic written and illustrated by Iotekted. Published by Puna Press.
In this series we meet Horn Dog, an average sausage that works next to a bar where he frequents and chats about life with the bartender. Plenty of other meats are regulars at the bar too and their comings and goings don’t go unnoticed by Horn Dog. The different customers help set the tone for each issue and drive the narrative of the stories which are peppered with sausage puns and relationship woes.
Iotekted keeps the art simple which helps to give more emphasis to the dialogue between the characters. The simple, yet very effective art, is drawn with a lot of attention to detail and composition. At first glance it gives the impression of an amateurish attempt at comic making, but once you begin to read it becomes clear that Iotekted is a skilled storyteller and talented artist that knows exactly what he is doing with his sausage!
Zombie Bunnies #1: The Queen’s Planhttps://squareup.com/market/zombiebunnies/ is a 22-page, full color, standard size comic created by Jim Hillin (writing, pencils, inks, and cover art) and Joey Karwal (colors). Published by Cypress Pictures.
In a shadow world that exist alongside the reality known and experienced by humans, a Zombie Bunnie kingdom is ruled by the kind and benevolent, Queen Bethesda, ruler and royal of the fair world. She is assisted in all things pertaining to the throne by the Viceroy, keeper of all things Carrott. Together, they decide what to do with the human interlopers they steal through their closets at night! Typically, the human-types are funneled off to the Chamber of Sloth, where The Royal Masseuse will keep them blissfully asleep with his soft ears and bottle of warm sassafrass oil and a little Kenny G on the stereo. Unless a friend has a cold bucket of ice, the stolen interlopers are staying asleep!
In this first issue of the Zombie Bunnies saga the queen dispatches three of her greatest “sneaks” to find “the Dreamer” that once visited the kingdom all on her own. Something no one had ever done before or since! Now, unaware of the Zombie Bunnies on her trail, “the Dreamer” is going about her normal life in the humans’ world. She works, plays, and spends time with her young niece and her niece’s friends as they all enjoy a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?!
In this tale from Alabaster Pizzo a young mouse girl named Mimi dreams of a magical goddess as she maneuvers through relationships with old friends and new acquaintances. As Mimi’s bond with her mate begins to fall apart, she starts a new friendship with a wolf. This leads Mimi into an exciting world she’s never experienced before and also into other associations with wolves that her non-wolf friends are leery of. However, free of her mate and growing ever more comfortable in the company of wolves, Mimi explores her new found independence and the ways of wolves!
Alabaster Pizzo presents a mystical tale of friendships, connections, and the complex dynamics between domestic and wild anthropomorphic characters living among each other in cities and forests. The story explores the intricate dance between different personalities as they each attempt to achieve their own, often hidden, motives with the innocent main character, Mimi, at the center of it all.