Written by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong
We acknowledge that we’re a little biased when it comes to our feelings towards Boston Comic Con. After all, it is on our home turf, the city we love and call home. Bias aside, BCC is not only one of the better shows for shopping but also one of the better cons for creator-owned/small press. With no presence from the Big Two, as in Marvel and DC, it’s a battleground ripe for the taking for small press to gain ground on the market. The convention floor was littered with creators, so we at The Fright Channel and Horror Haven did the leg work for you. We found and present three creator-owned/small press that stood out from the rest.
First to catch our eye is the first offering of Rapid City with issue 11 from the creative team of writer Josh Dahl and artist A. Kaviraj, and published by Monolith. No need to adjust your TV set because issue 11 is in fact the first issue. It was a litmus test for the series just as much as it was a test to see if Dahl and Kaviraj could gel together creatively. Rapid City is a story about a superhero waging a war on a smaller scale as he defends a local park from drug dealers under the guise of small changes adding up. There’s even a showdown with another superhero but it’s not the usual trope of a misunderstanding followed by a fight but rather an education for both “heroes.” Writer Dahl is very open about the book being based on personal experiences; no, it’s not about him suiting up but instead trying to make a difference in a larger world on a smaller scale. The personal touch is what makes this book interesting and sets it apart from other superhero-featuring indie comics. As for the artwork, Kaviraj seems to be more comfortable when the superheroes are in costume and action. The rest of the art just doesn’t pop like the action or even the static talking heads of the superheroes. The book is definitely worth a look with the creative team publishing issue 1 through 10 next.
Whatever your comic book craving(s) may be, the fine folks at 215 Ink have a comic or two that will scratch your itch with their eclectic mix of comic book offerings, including 1950s-inspired sci-fi stories and a crime story about two small-time thugs. The icing on the cake is the 215Ink iPad app allows you to download their comics if your local comic shop doesn’t carry it. The two standout books are Vic Boone, a sci-fi detective story, and The Price, a mysterious horror-inspired thriller. A fun story with UFOs, ray guns and of course dames, Vic Boone blends elements of drive-in sci-fi movies and early Hollywood. The P.I. story is written by Shawn Aldridge and drawn by Geoffo. The second and our favorite book from 215 Ink is The Price, a moody and atmospheric one-shot that has layer after layer of crazy plots. What little of the book we were able to see was enough to get us hooked. Writer Glenn Arseneau and artist Allen Byrns weave a creepy tale of a woman on the road who’s haunted by a ghost and a lecherous truck driver.
Lastly, we saw our good friend Brandon Barrows and Reasonably Priced Comics. The big news of the year was his comic Jack Hammer, to be published by Shawn Pryor’s Action Lab Entertainment. We reviewed the comic after Boston Comic Con 2011 (click on the BCC 2011 link to read the review) and are excited to see what Brandon has planned for Jack Hammer in the near future. The second piece of news was his new project, Red Run, which he remained tightlipped on. About the only thing we squeezed out of Brandon was that it was his first foray into the horror genre. An interview with the writer will be released later this week, giving us more info and insight into his projects.
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