COMICS IN THE CAN – FCBD special pt 2
ATOMIC ROBO (+ Brodie troll and haunted)
AR – written by Brian Clevinger
Art – Scott Wegener
I’ve been a big fan of Robo from almost the beginning. Robo and Witch Doctor by Brandon Seifert will always be my first suggestion to anyone interested in trying out comics. Something about a wise cracking robot running through history having science adventures just makes sense for this medium. The sense of fun and humor this book has raises Atomic Robo above it’s pulpy trappings. When one of your main enemies is named Doctor Dinosaur; a talking raptor with delusions of grandeur and a rocket launcher you’ve got fun in mind. When that bad guy is a legitimate threat while also being hysterical you got something special. All said, I love Atomic Robo and the FCBD stories almost always stand out. When I was reviewing for comics bulletin a FCBD Robo story was one of only two “five bullet” ratings I ever gave. This year’s story doesn’t live up to (admittedly super high) expectations. The story is pretty average; a student fInds some weird EGG-LIKE rocks and encounters a rock monster in the process. Robo is also there searching for said rock monster. Punching and explosions ensue. I’m sure you already figured out the twist as soon as I wrote about the strange rocks; they are rock monster eggs. The student hurls the eggs into a mine shaft fire, dynamite is added – BOOM! I think what didn’t work for me is that I felt sorry for the monster momma protecting her (it’s?) eggs. The monster, apart from being big and scary, is never established as a threat. Robo and the monster have history (guess how the mine fire got started) but I have more empathy for the monster in this case. Oh well; Wegener’s art is full of action and humor as always. The colors are bright and everything is clear and enjoyable. An average Robo story is still better than a large chunk of material out there on any day.
Brodie Troll by Jay Fosgitt was a treat; whimsical and imaginative it seems to be made for the little kid who digs Jack Skellington (like my daughter). The joke about Brodie’s culinary tastes gets a little strained but it’s all for the payoff at the end.
Haunted seemed capable but didn’t leave much of an impression. It looked creepy, I’ll give it that.
COMICS ON THE CAN – Free comic book day edition pt 1!
Scam – crosswords
Written by Jason Ciaramella
Drawn by Joe Mulvey
THE EXPENDABLES + OCEAN’S ELEVEN X LEGION OF DOOM = goofy over the top fun. 2 stories, first one is about a merc named Crosswords with a black and white checkered mask, a snarky attitude and a penchant for a level of mayhem that would make Deadpool go “Dude’s on an impressive level”. This is my first encounter with this guy (and scam as a whole); signs point to him being the big bad.
I like him! He, in short order, dumps some kidnapees out of a plane making it rain splating bodies onto not nice German crime guy (father and husband of kidnapee sky-pizza) then crashes his plane into the guy’s goons and slaughters everyone that survived. Lot of content for 10 pages or so. Cinematic and relishing it’s “R with an explanation” boundary push; Crosswords is Bugs bunny by way of Garth Ennis.
The second story is about another hit man in the line-up named “Pint” who gets stronger and faster the drunker he gets. He’s after a Russian bag man taking a break in Vegas with a bodyguard who does nothing to dismiss the beefy Russian female joke. Fast paced and kooky enough to keep it on the entertaining side of hit men. Pint’s mis-adventure doesn’t reach the scale of cartoon violence that Crosswords does but it is a laugh and has flawless comedic timing.
Considering the fun I had reading this I’ll have to check out more of SCAM. And isn’t that one of the things that #FCBD sets out to do?
I mean this in the best possible way – perfect bathroom reading.
COMICS IN THE CAN – WONDERCON EDITION PT 3
KODOJA TERROR MOUNTAIN: SHOWDOWN Issue #4
Written by Keith Foster
Art by Rory Smith
You ever lie awake in bed late at night; just you, the gassy dog and your deep dark secrets and think “Gee, there just isn’t enough Kaiju comic books out there. I mean there is Godzilla at IDW and I can’t wait for (shameless plug alert) World War Kaiju but damn if there isn’t enough sharp, well written, fast moving and fun giant monster stories for me to purchase… Oh god, Fido, what the hell did you eat to make that smell!?!?!”
Lord knows I do.
That’s why I’m here sitting on the potty for YOU! Switch Fido to dry dog food, I’m sure you “accidentally” killed that hobo in Cincinnati and next time you’re at a big con look for Kodoja Terror mountain! Drawing from a deeply held love for Kaiju movies KODOJA’s got the moves down and offers some surprises along the way. The beats are familiar; mysterious giant monster casually demolishes everything in its path, a deeply frustrated military hurls everything it’s got (including a secret weapon) to no avail and a team of scientists unlock the secrets and bear witness to the inevitable Kaiju on Kaiju violence. But where most of the Kaiju stories compel you to fast forward past the expository dialogue and get right to the monster bashing Kodoja keeps you invested in the characters with depth, snarky/funny/clever dialogue and figuratively and literally well drawn characters.
Kodoja is a man-made bio-droid that’s been mothballed. It activates itself and heads out into the world driven by some unknown purpose. Meanwhile a giant demon snake Kaiju thing shows up and starts tearing shit up. You can guess the rest of the plot; buildings get Kaiju-ized the countryside shakes and everybody panics and grasp for a solution. The fun is built into the action and Kodoja delivers wholeheartedly.
Indie comics can be a lot of things and sometimes it’s forgotten among the pretense but one of the things they can be is damn entertaining. And infused with homage, action and an obvious sense of fun – that’s just what Kodoja Terror Mountain is.
On a side note you should also see out, if they have it in stock, the soundtrack to Kodoja by Big Pimp Jones w/ hot peas n’ butta. The soundtrack is a funky take on Kaiju movie music that will impress the music kook in your clan… Worth it.
www.kodoja.com @kodoja www.bigpimpjones.com www.recordbreakin.com
Next: The Eltingville club
Soon: Free comic book day edition
Welcome to COMICS ON THE CAN – WONDERCON EDITION Pt 2
As I sit here on the throne and contemplate Misfortune High from Jules Rivera it occurs to me that the “—— in high school.” is an indie sub-genre. Probably a result of panning for that Harry Potter and/or Buffy the vampire slayer gold and also High School is an apt metaphor for life challenges and an effective microcosm of life in general. Not all of them are done well… most aren’t done well… Misfortune High is the exception that proves the rule. It’s about a lying upper class jerk who gets expelled from his 1% wizard school and sent to the wrong side of the tracks. Hilarity and class struggle ensues. In the interest of full disclosure Jules is a friend of mine, in fact we shared a table at wondercon, and her wrath terrifies me. But even if I wasn’t scared of the verbal and physical drubbing I’d get I’d still dig Misfortune High. Here’s why – most of those indie books lack depth. No so with Misfortune High – the characters are very well grounded and distinct (both visually and personality-wise) for such a out there concept. I found myself thinking about them long after I finished my duty. Jules also balances sly humor with some serious notes and manages to fit an interesting plot in as well.
The art is unique; the watercolors have a loose feel that enhances the comedic aspects of the book but somehow transmits a full emotional range too. The world of Misfortune High feels lived in and authentic even with the cartoon-ish look. The foil stamped cover is keen too.
Misfortune High left me wanting more; the plot kicks into gear right at the end of the 48 pages. Thankfully book #2 just got funded on kickstarter and Jules is finishing coloring it as we speak.
Next is the final entry for Wondercon – Kodoja – Terror mountain showdown
Soon – Free comic book day edition