The Strong Baked Defenders #1https://buff.ly/3a7OCL7 is a standard size, full color, 28-page comic created by “Red” Fox and Matti V with line art by Zdravko Jandric, colors by Milan Rogulja (Cover) and El Zorro Rojo (Body), lettering by K’Eyi K’Ebero, character development by Rob Thibodeau, and modeling sheets by Vincent Marchesano. Published by Cor Industries.
This is the first issue of a three-issue volume that I’ll be writing about over the next few weeks. In this issue we’re introduced to a group of four friends going about their normal lives. One of the friends is convinced aliens are among us, another is being bullied at work, while another is struggling at university, and the final friend is most interested in staying stoned. Everything seems to be going well as the group make some decisions about the future…then they unexpectedly wander into the middle of what appears to be an unrelated ambush on a bridge!
The writing quickly establishes the setting and characters and provides just enough detail to make you comfortable with the unfolding story, but without overwhelming you with backstory. An effective hook is planted at the end of this issue to make you want to read the next and find out how this peculiar quartet will fare!
Dr. Carl Willendorf: Psychoanalyst of Creatures, Monsters, & Other Beastshttps://grantthomasonline.com/shop is a 10-page, black and white mini comic written and illustrated by Grant Thomas. Price $1.
In this mini we pay a visit to the office of Doctor Carl Willendorf. There the good doctor talks to a reclining Minotaur about his unconventional family origins. Great line work, layout, and pacing! There are so many creatures, monsters, and beasts out there that clearly need counseling, I think Dr. Willendorf has a long series of minis ahead of him!
The saga of Medusa continues in this issue of Dodo as the snakes show her a new source of water and a betrayal brings out a darker side! Meanwhile, plans are hatched to defend against a Holy War! The issue concludes with four pieces dedicated to the Everglades titled The Forever Glades. In these four pages we’re treated to both clean, attractive line drawings of scenes from within the Everglades and a brief history of the region. Dodo serves up even more great storytelling and art from the very talented Grant Thomas!
The Man in the Black Cloakhttp://kikomics.com.br/ is an 82-page, black and white, horror comic written and illustrated by Kiko Garcia and published by Kikomics.
An old storyteller starts this collection of tales off with a piece titled “Sleeping with the Deceased.” In it he remembers a not so pleasant time when he became trapped with an angry corpse! Next the storyteller’s rival “Hank” spins a yarn in “Quarrels and Prowess,” a tale about himself and his father taking matters into their own hands to settle things with a pesky werewolf! The storyteller and Hank compete with each other attempting to demonstrate which of them is the bravest by the events they describe in their stories. To finally determine which is the bravest they decide the title will go to the one that kills the “Saci,” an annoying, one-legged, magical prankster that lives in the marsh! Things don’t go as planned when the two men come face-to-face in the overgrown vegetation of the marsh. After the encounter the storyteller closes this comic with “Not Even a Patch Could Save Me” and “A Very Scary Bet,” both of which lead to an unforeseen and completely satisfying twist ending!
Kiko weaves an entertaining narrative full of twists through four horror stories within a larger, all-encompassing story! His bold black lines with heavy shadows contrast great against the white spaces and injects drama into the stories at a perfect pace. His characters are drawn with lots of attention paid to individual details, and his writing keeps the action moving with unpredictable outcomes! The Man in the Black Cloak is storytelling and art at its best!
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…
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!