Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Reviews

I'm woefully behind on my comics reviews, so I'm catching up by putting a bunch of them together in this post and a couple more later today. The reviews are briefer than I'd intended, but I hope it brings some good comics to people's attention anyway.

First up we have Frankenstein, Texas by Dan Whitehead and David Hitchcock. As the title suggests, Frankenstein and his monster arrive in America. Unexpectedly, a Western setting suits the iconic characters well, thanks to the skills of the creators of this 64 page comic. Smooth writing from Dan Whitehead, and detailed, atmospheric artwork from David Hitchcock, whose work I've admired for several years now.
It's a cracking story and despite some violence and mild cussing, I'd say it was suitable for older children to adults. There are some very nice bonus back up illustrations too from guest artists DaNi, John McCrea, PJ Holden, Jerry Paris, and Doug Slack. You can order a copy from this website:
https://gumroad.com/l/franktx

Writer Dan Whitehead.

Also by the same writer is Hex Loader No.3, continuing the contemporary supernatural story. Again, good writing that flows well, and nice realistic artwork by Conor Boyle. 
My only gripe is that there's no resumé page/captions so one has to remember what happened in previous issues. Not easy when the comic is only published once a year and you've mislaid the previous two amongst piles of other comics. (Or is that just me?) Worth following though, and you can buy all three from this link:
http://www.comicsy.co.uk/hexloader/



Next up we have Starfall, published by Blackhat Comics. This was backed by people supporting the creator's Patreon page and the result is a 32 page full colour comic. Written by Adam Blackhat and drawn/coloured by Valentina Sannais, Starfall is an adult superhero story. 
The artist, Valentina Sannais, is an emerging new talent and one to watch. There's good figurework in her drawing and I really like her unusual but appealing use of colour. The script moves along at a good pace and packs a lot in. 
Artist Valentina Sannais.
I'm not quite sure how you can get a print copy other than from Val's table at comic cons, but you can support their Patreon and read the online comics at this link:
https://www.patreon.com/starfallwebcomic



The final publication in this review section is Back, Sack and Crack (and Brain), a 224 page graphic novel by Robert Wells. Comics can be about any subject, and the subject here are the embarrassing health problems suffered by the author. Yes, it's autobiographical, and Robert takes us through every detail of the chronic pain he's endured in his bowels, his back, and his testicles, and the treatment (and sometimes mis-diagnoses) he's received. 
It's not a book for the squeamish, but Robert's art is very matter-of-fact and his cleanline style helps to make it more palatable. I have to confess I was left thinking "Did I really need to know all that?" but, and it's a big but, I'm sure it could help people in similar situations to know what they might expect. There's a lot of dark humour in there too, in case you were concerned it was a dry medical record. If you like slice-of-life stories then you can't get more down to earth than this. 

Back, Sack and Crack (and Brain) by Robert Wells is available from bookshops such as Page 45 and Waterstones. ISBN 978-1-4721-3675-6




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