Saturday, September 21, 2013

Indie Corner - 09/25/2013

Each week I'll spotlight a couple independent books I've read and may have flown under people's radar.

Zero 01
The book everyone's been talking about, and for good reason.  30 pages, no ads.  All action, intrigue, and drama from start to finish.  It's books like this that people break out the word "taut" for, since there's not a single wasted panel or word in this book.  I've heard Ales Kot's name get thrown around for the last year, but this is my first exposure to him.  From now on I'll be paying closer attention.  The art is by Michael Walsh, and though the artist will change for each issue of the series, he does an excellent job illustrating the action and the few quiet moments.  Highly recommended, and for only $2.99 you really can't go wrong.

Regular series artist Dan Schoening does the back-up in this issue, with Doc Shaner handling the main story.  Shaner's not bad, but it came as a shock upon opening the cover.  It's just that Schoening has a very distinct style that I've grown accustomed to in a short time.  Erik Burnham is still on writing duties, though, so nothing misses a beat.  Janine and Egon are each dealing with the events of the last few issues in their own ways.  Winston is on a working holiday with Tiyah in Las Vegas, and Peter rounds up who he can to deal with the mysterious ship seen last issue.  An amusing issue with Peter making jokes at every opportunity, but mostly setup for things still to come.

I haven't checked to see if it's been longer than a month since issue three, but I can tell you it felt longer because I've been looking forward to this for so long.  Everything's hitting the fan, both on Earth and off.  Viewership is at an all-time high, but being shown things the executives don't want anyone to see.  An ex-girlfriend feeling sentimental.  Our blue hero getting more pieces to the puzzle, but still missing the big picture.  And the setup for a showdown between our two most mysterious cast members.  Highly recommended.  I'm already eagerly awaiting issue five.  Also: they're only shown for one page, but I absolutely love the police on page two, reminding me a lot of Frank Miller art, Robocop, and Judge Dredd.

Good first issue.  Characters, setting, and story are all well established with hints of a larger story and plenty of action.  Featuring art from Juan Ferreyra, whom I'm unfamiliar with but after this will now be on the lookout for more from him.  A quick search tells me Ferreyra worked on Rex Mundi, which I own but have never read.  It may be time to dust that off and finally give it a read.  The writer is Victor Gischler, most memorable to me for turning Jubilee into a vampire.  It seems like supernatural comics are becoming a crowded space, but I think there's at least room for this title, that carves out its own niche away from Ten Grand, Chin Music, and others.  I recommend checking out the first issue.  I'll be picking up the rest of the five issue mini series.

This didn't come out last week, but I'd been hearing good things, so I had my local shop grab me a copy of the first issue.  It's not only good, but there's nothing else like it in American comics.  The script is by Mike Raicht, though the credits page lists three creators having a hand in the story.  I'm only familiar with the artist, Zach Howard, mostly from The Cape.  He's every bit as accomplished here as he was there, doing an equally gorgeous job at high-flying dog fights, intricate machinery, or heated personal conversations.  I recommend everyone check out the first issue and know I'll be adding this to my regular pull.  Issue two is already out.

Things aren't going well for Conan or Belit as separation and multiple attempts on their lives lead to ill ends for both our main characters.  I realize now that the previous sentence could be read to imply they've died.  That's not the case, though though both their plans backfired in a spectacular way.  Neither will be starting next issue in a good position, and while I've seen Conan in bad places before, things seem particularly stacked against him this time.

Double cross!  No real dinosaurs this issue, aside from the dead one in the opening pages, but plenty of action.  Our multinational team commandeer a submarine and sneak aboard a Nazi ship full of dinosaurs headed to America.  If that sentence doesn't interest you, I don't know what will.  Everything concludes next issue!

Once this series is done, I'm going to re-read it in one sitting.  This is a hard issue to recommend on its own, since not a whole lot happens.  But in typical Azzarello fashion, plenty is happening if you can read between the lines.  Everyone is posturing and maneuvering, though I feel like it will be issue six before powder kegs start exploding.  Risso, also in typical fashion, beautifully draws every twisted thing is this book.  If you haven't been following the series up to this point, just wait for the trade.  Bonus: There's a preview for Coffin Hill at the back.  It's piqued my interest enough that I'll check out the first issue.