Welcome back to another does of Kickstarters we love. We would like to take a moment to welcome Alex from Pipedream comics who will be taking over this blog series. Make sure you pop over to their site today here.
Consistently one of the most imaginative and unpredictable small press series around, Fraser Campbell and James Corcoran’s Alex Automatic is a mind bending mix of vintage TV adventure serials like The Bionic Man, and a nightmarish dystopian future. Secret agent Alex Anderson has been subjected to a series of illegal experiments by the mysterious agency known as PRYSM in an attempt to enhance his abilities as a super spy. However in doing that it has broken down his ability to tell the difference between reality and the fictitious world where he believes he is an indestructible super-spy in a 70s TV show. It’s a bit like The Winter Soldier meets The Prisoner, but told through the lens of a nightmarish acid trip gone wrong. Campbell’s story twists and turns and plays with the idea of reality and unreality, while Corcoran’s art balances classic Kirby-esque silver age spy visuals with a darker more psychedelic style reminiscent of The King’s New Gods or Jim Steranko. Packed full of invention and originality, this new collected volume allows you to immerse yourself in this gloriously confusing world, but we can’t guarantee you will have answers to what is going on by the end of it. But that is what makes this series so compelling, as neither does Alex!
If you love over the top action and undead Japanese warriors then you can’t go wrong with Mike Garley’s excellent Samurai Slasher. If you love trashy 80s horror movies like Friday 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street, then you’ll love this. Samurai Slasher brings together some of small press’ most exciting artist such as Andy Clift (Captain Cosmic), Gavin Mitchell (Trollthooth Wars) and Chris Imber (Knights vs Pirates) to create an anthology series that follows our undead hero on a. trail of destruction as he attempts to regain his powers and his armour. By piecing the story with individual chapters and different artists in each, Garley manages to make Samurai Slasher into much more than just a cheesy gore book. It’s a really fun and eclectic anthology packed full of outrageous ideas and concepts with equally over the top art as he matches the tone of each chapter to the artist. This latest campaign sees Garley collect together all 3 issues of this fantastic series along with previously uncollected stories and new pieces as well as the fantastic Survive Your Own Adventure novel. It also includes the phenomenal ‘Late Fees’ story, which sees Garley tell a really poignant semi-autobiographical tale using his love of 80s movies and the Slasher as the focal point. A perfect chance to get all of these excellent small press comics on one awesome volume.
Haker – The Book of Solomon Part Two
The second volume of Roger Gibson and Vincent Danks’ supernatural crime procedural is currently funding via Time Bomb Comics. A homage to classic TV detectives like the Rockford Files or Ashes to Ashes, but with a sinister Satanic plot involving a ritualistic murder and a body on the steps of the British Museum, it’s a glorious mix of crime procedural but with a darker edge. While this may sound like it’s a trashy horror book, it is anything but, thanks to the fantastic dialogue between its leads. Gibson’s dialogue fizzes and makes the whole thing really entertaining, while Dank’s detailed line work feels like something from a classic 70s anthology like Warrior or Action. There is also something really familiar about the format, and while it may have been done to death on TV, having it comic book form feels really different (a bit like one of those adaptation of a TV series you used to read in Look In) and it helps make what could have been a fairly trad comic into a really fun and engaging read. These stories were first published in 2007 and are getting a new lease of life through the excellent Time Bomb Comics team (who also brought us Flintlock and Brawler) and we hope that this will be the start of new adventures for Harker and his partner Critchley.
Time Before Time: Process Edition
One of the exciting things about crowdfunded indie comics is that they allow creators to give fans a real glimpse behind the scenes, as well as offer up plenty of bonus material that really helps shine a light on the comics process as well as expand out on the action that didn’t quite make it into the standard 24 pages of a single issue. This project from Irish writer Declan Shelvey is a perfect example of this, as we get to discover behind the scenes details for his fantastic new Image Comics series which he is producing along with Rory McConville and Joe Palmer (who also made the wonderful Write In Blood). This campaign is for a 48 page process book all about the creation of the series, where you get to see all the nuts and bolts required to put this awesome series together. It’s a truly one of a kind creation as it isn’t going to be released anywhere else and so whether you are a fan of this excellent time travelling series already, or just wanted to find out more about the comics making process (and then want to delve into that series) then this is a superb start. It has the analysis of a comics periodical like Panel x Panel, with creator interviews and script to art comparisons, but with the focus and production values of a high end art book. There are also plenty of fantastic extras like prints, stickers and trading cards to get your hands on so this feels like the ultimate bonus package for fans of Shelvey and co’s work.
Geek Girl – Jump-On TPB
If you like your superhero books to not take things too seriously, then Sam Johnson’s Geek Girl is a fantastic example of a fun and over the top capes adventure. Our heroine Ruby acquires her powers via a set of high-tech glasses which she wins in a game of poker, but this sets her on the familiar path of a supe as she takes on nefarious villains while also learning her trade. It’s like a mix between classic Superman, Captain Marvel and a teen adventure like Buffy or Riverdale and manages to mix familiar concepts with a fresh new approach to it all. This second volume brings together issue 5-9 of the ongoing series and sees GG’s life head in a new direction as she starts fronting a super team to take on the tool-wielding Digger Mensch. It’s a really fun and over the top series, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, while also channelling the enjoyment and passion of classic superhero comics. Johnson bring a real sense of fun and enjoyment to the story, while series artist Carlos Granda gives the whole thing a classic Bronze Age feel, but with a few modern twists along the way. Making comics ‘fun’ is a really underrated concept in the world of comics these days, but Geek Girl manages to capture that spirit and humour of classic capes to make for a really enjoyable read.