Behind The Panels
Comic Book Creators Interviews
Zazz Comics. An online alliance of 3 Independent Comic Creators came together this year with an Anthology of shorts with a Special 22 page Digital Comic for a Free Comic Book Day. I like that.
Let’s break it down.
The first story introduces us to the work of Joel Poirier in an 8 page comic entitled “No Roost for the wicked!” It’s a story about a man who love’s his Pigeons. Not quite sure what he’s “Doing” with his pigeons, but he sure does love them.
In the most clichéd cramming of Super Hero Comics Moments - we get it all. Thugs. Thugs offering Insurance. Thugs taking away the thing the man loves the most. The man, so angry he could kill the bad guy - refusing to come down to their level because it would make him as bad as them. The man sending a message… He’s going after the mob.
In it’s tongue in cheek presentation Joel takes a moderate slap at the stereotypical Super Hero book. You can see the passion in Joel’s work - that whole look of I-drew-this-with-Crayola-Crayons was a purposeful descision. The luscious colors and the full ink strokes (full digital ink strokes?) juxtaposes brilliantly with small but effective scenes of violence. (I love it when thugs get their eyes pecked out by pigeons!) The Pigeon King is introduced and I’m interested to know what he’ll do next… or when he’ll be taken to the hospital for a psych evaluation.
Space Kid by John Macleod - I feel like I’m reading Tin Tin in Space with a mix of Akiko and Astro Boy adopted by Political Fat Cat Jetsons. Oh yeah, and throw some Asterix and Obelix in there too - that’s some pretty heady company to be included with in a very short story. At it’s core it’s a simple story told in a pretty effective way. Rich People in a yacht - Space Pirates robbing and kidnapping (Love the Pirate talk!) and Space Boy swinging in to investigate. I love Akiko and Tin Tin - Space Boy has that feel, I wish it would separate itself a little more, and perhaps it will, this is after all my first exposure to this storyline.
The only thing I really had trouble with was some of the page transitions. It didn’t seem to flow real well. I thought it was because it was a digital comic (only my second one after Eric Orchard’s Marrow Bones) but it wasn’t - there’s no real time lapse or transition from the pirates leaving the yacht and the crew fixing the radio - and then when Space Kid leaves his Headquarters, the next panel shows him inside the yacht inspecting it. No transition scene like his ship docking with the yacht or anything. The final one was sort of a throw you for a loop type of scene - Space kid, in the last panel of a page mention that the ball is now in the pirates court and he gives a sly look - implying that the next page SHOULD be back to the pirates. Sike! It’s just another awkward transition to another Space scene - which also introduces us to two more characters (aside from Stella - who I thought was well introduced) who I think we’re supposed to be familiar with already, “Doc” and a robot named “Pizmo” both characters are part of Space Boy’s crew. I’d like to know them already, but I don’t - and so, in the true sense of intrigue, this comic works really well - because I WANT to know these characters and now I’m going to have to find out who they are. Beautiful art work - fun story and a futuristic Earth - Fine Job Mr. Macleod, Fine job indeed.
I believe I’ve read this Lilith Dark Story before in a black and white version. Color makes this comic stand out so much more and in such a good way. This is a book that color compliments so well. I’m not sure if coloring was the only thing added to it, it may have been reworked, but I can’t be sure until I look back on the original issue.
Charles Dowd take from Bill Watterson here ala Calvin’s imagination when he fight’s aliens or monsters and end’s up in his room pouting or plotting by the last panel.
Lilith Dark is scheming little girl dressed in a Darth Vader outfit - she’s stalking a Unicorn so she can claim the horn and it’s power within. Then the reality switch comes in and she’s wearing a pumpkin bucket on her head and is about to split her brother’s skull in with a sword (which is very dangerous, I can assure you). Dowd takes a few tip from Sam Kieth here in his style of drawing some of the facial characteristics of Lilith and her brother (check out those glasses!)
The Horn on this particular Unicorn meets a gruesome fate at the hands of Lilith. For her crime of what can only be described as compassionate violence, she is banished to her room. In the final panel I finally figured out who - or what, as it were, Lilith looks like. A really frumpy Cabage Patch Kid Doll.
I’d like to know more about Lilith, Space Kid and The Pigeon King - so it looks like I’ve got a whole new line up of comics to check out.
Thanks for the guys over at Zazz Comics for offering this on Free Comic Book Day and for truly “getting” what FCBD is supposed to be about. Click on the below images to take you to the creators site!