Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Treasures From the ComiCombs

March, being the first five Wednesday month this year, sees a pretty weak release day today, so instead of giving you my picks from this week’s lackluster batch of new books, I’m going to talk about a couple of indie comics I have recently come across and enjoyed. Last week two new books went head to head for a spot in my collection, Ferals and American Vampire, which has been the toughest choice so far. Read on to see some great indie picks and which book wins a spot on the shelves of the ComiCombs.

Dark Beach #1

If it wasn’t obvious by the number of books I slip into my weekly picks, I’m a lover of sci-fi comics. When I stumbled upon this book I was eager to check it out. It has an interesting story and issue #1 barely scratches the surface. Instead of giving a long explanation on the back story, Dark Beach #1 serves as an introduction to its main character, Gordo. There are some pretty panels inside this issue and I really enjoyed the artwork. While issue #1 is a murder mystery, there’s a lot more going on here and I’m excited to see how the Dark Beach team opens it up. You can pick up a digital copy of issue #1 here.

Blood Sacrifice #1 by James Dufresne

Blood Sacrifice is the story of a small suburban town being plagued by a series of brutal murders, and the two high school misfits who stumbled upon the terrifying secret behind it all.”

This book was recommended to me by none other than our very own KillDozer. This is a book that will draw you in immediately. While the art isn’t what you’re used to seeing in big budget books, it is extremely fitting. I’m a big fan of books with writing and art done by the creator and I was pleased with how this one played out. After reading this first issue I felt like a kid again, eyes fixed to the TV watching horror movies on Betamax. The inspiration is clear and I love it. Issue #1 nailed it with the pacing and I can’t wait for the next issue. Skip that latte and head over here to pick up issue #1.

Batman #50 (DC)

Writer – Scott Snyder

Artist – Greg Capullo

While obviously not an indie book, this is my one and only pick from this week’s releases. It seems the line is drawn right down the middle between those who love and those who hate this current story arc, Superheavy. Regardless of which side you’re on you can rejoice with this issue. Although issue #51 is technically their last, issue #50 is pretty much the end of this run by writer Scott Snyder and Artist Greg Capullo. Pick this up, it’s a double sized issue and you can be sure there will be tons of great content. 

Last week I introduced two new books going head to head, Ferals and American Vampire. I highly enjoyed both of these books. Two very different styles of storytelling and art made for a tough choice. 
American Vampire started strong. We got a great introduction of our main character Pearl in issue #1. Rafael Albuquerque does a great job with the art in this book. He takes a grounded approach and never really goes completely over the top. Ferals however is a different monster, literally. Ferals is all about the werewolves. Our introduction to the main character, Dale, is pretty good and sets the tone for the rest of this book. Gabriel Andrade’s art is quite different from what’s seen in American Vampire. The werewolves are big ferocious creatures with a massive appetite. Mutilated bodies are the norm in this book and I loved every gory detail. 
Scott Snyder is high on the list when it comes to great writers. David Lapham has had a long career with many great titles to his name and both Snyder and Lapham are Eisner award winners. Ferals starts off at an alarming pace. Issue #1 is a good setup and when the action starts it doesn’t slow down. This book is full of great action sequences and bloody deaths, complete with severed limbs and everything else you would expect to see in a werewolf fight. American Vampire takes quite a different approach. While there are some cool action sequences, this one is quite a bit more story driven. Each issue tells two different stories, one written by Scott Snyder set in the present (1920’s) timeline of the book and the other set in the past written by none other than Stephen King. This goes without saying but the writing is great.
While I like the idea of awesome werewolf fights in Ferals, the action was front and center and in turn that left the story a bit thin. Fortunately the story is a very entertaining one. With American Vampire, I loved getting two stories from two great writers but alternating between them every 15 pages or so took me out of the zone on more than one occasion. These being the only negatives I found in the two books you can see where this might be a tough choice. So who won this classic battle between Werewolves and Vampires?

American Vampire Vol. 01 by Scott Snyder,
Steven King and Rafael Albuquerque (Vertigo)

It was easy to overlook being taken out of the zone between stories because the writing is just so strong in this book and you’re quickly drawn back in. I highly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

So that’s it for this week. Make sure to come back next week for more picks and remember, support indie comics!

- Creature of the ComiCombs

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