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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Elemental Micah

Writer and Artist: Michael Georgiou
Publisher: self-published

What's it about?
Micah Sampson is a seventeen year old college drop out, feeling his life draining away from his as he works as a supermarket. He has low self esteem, mostly surrounding his body, and a huge crush on the American older man who works at the fish counter. On Micah's last day at the market, said sex-bomb asks him out on a date, which also happens to be the night on which Micah discovers he has superpowers.

Elemental Micah is a blend of a superhero origin story and a tale of friendship, self discovery and finding your place in the world. As most superhero stories are about these things to some extent or another, it's a very effective blend.

What's good about it?
The cast of characters, while small so far, is well told. Micah and his friends Dana and Simon are complex, interesting characters with hopes and regrets of their own, that Georgiou weaves into the story naturally. He never pushes the superpowers to the back seat, but instead character background and conversation (it's a little early for character development) happens while, for example, Micah and Simon are chasing down a tornado in London.

What's bad about it?
Well, the art could use some work. It's obvious that this is Georgiou's first comic work to star human characters and telling a story of this kind. His character designs are great, but there's some awkwardness in telling a cohesive story with them. At some points I had real trouble figuring out what was happening. Which is a shame, because the plotting is so tight, and characters so interesting that better art would make this comic really very good indeed.

What's the art like?
As mentioned above - it needs work, but I suspect that this will pick up as the comic continues. The art is greyscale, and shows a lot of potential in terms of character design and plotting, but needs to be developed more before it's up to the standards of the writing. Nevertheless, the writing and the characters carry the story so well, that it's definitely going to be worth the wait. 

Other Information
Available to buy at Indie Comics (£2.99 an issue) and Kindle (86p an issue)

Michael Georgiou is the writer/artist behind the webcomic Steve & Bob. His artwork can also be found at michaelgeorgiou.com

Editors note - this review was crossposted at Prism ComicsPrism Comics is a website dedicated to bringing news and review of LGBT comics.  Check them out.

Saturday, 26 November 2011


Writer: Jean Van Hamme
Artist: Grzegorz Rosinski 
Letterer: Imadjinn 
Translator: Jerome Saincantin 
Publisher: Cinebook

What’s it about?
This is set in 1868, when America was being colonised and white folk were staking out their claims across the nation.  Ambrosius Van Deer investigates a claim that his long lost nephew, presumed stolen by native Americans (except the book calls them Red Indians) several years ago, has been rediscovered.  The meeting is made, plans are revealed, and  we skip forward 15 years.  The lad has grown up and has made his own way in the world.  Events conspire to send him back to Van Deer's daughter, Cathy.  Then the real tragedy begins.

This is a story of identity, of struggling to survive, of staking your claim in the world, and of family.  It’s heart wrenching, beautifully told and beautifully painted.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

French Toast Comix

A webcomic, by Becky Hawkins

(Images posted with author's consent)

What's it about?
French Toast Comix is an autobiographical webcomic by a lady who works as a cruise ship musician.  She's Jewish, gay and draws pretty much anything that happens in her life.  Strips might appear about a coffee shop, her mum, cruise ship culture, new places that she's visited, her art class, anything (also - stealing giant porcelain cows)!

It's not as linear as a lot of web comics, in that it mostly reads more like stand alone events.  However, you can buy more structured print mini comics if you like (see the more information section at the end of the review). Many of the entries have a text blog accompanying them, giving more information about the events being depicted.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

52 volumes 1 to 4

Writers: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid
Artists: various
Publisher: DC

What’s it about?
The DCU has suffered an Infinite Crisis and the big 3 heroes, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman have disappeared.  The other heroes have to take up the mantle, but in a world fractured and without hope, how will they survive?

Lex Luthor is building an everyman programme, giving ordinary people superpowers, but at a price.  There’s an island of mad scientists building cricketrons, omnibots and other explosive things.  The religion of crime is building and only Batwoman and the Question can stop it.  Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange are stuck in the farthest reaches of the Galaxy with an ex homicidal Czarnian, now converted into the Pope of the Triple-Headed Fish God's church.  The dark half of the Captain Marvel family is growing and Black Adam is developing his compassion.  Booster Gold is being replaced by a young whippersnapper and he doens't like it.  Then there’s the Teen Titans, JLA, JSA who are all imploding without proper guidance or support.

There’s a lot going on.  More than I can describe in a short paragraph.