Posts tagged creator owned

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Review: The Bends One-shot

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Author/ Art: Charles Pazos

Reviewed By: Melissa Megan

The Bends is a 77 page one shot graphic novel, available on Graphicly in digital form, created by Charles Pazos. He is also currently trying to fund the publishing of The Bends in book form through a Kickstarter with 32 days left to succeed. I had never heard of the author or the book previous to receiving an email soliciting review, but at first glance the art work caught my eye so I decided to check it out.

Set in Miami, this is a very classic crime-noire story of power and corruption, politics and sex. It’s definitely intended for a mature audience. The story moves along fast, propelled by gritty action and and an ongoing, lighthearted dialogue between two hired hitmen who seem to have a friendly past together. Events in The Bends move along and intersect each other like a Tarantino film and I wasn’t surprised to see Tarantino mentioned in the thank you notes at the end of the story. You don’t get much time to become acquainted with the characters enough to really care about them, but I feel like with this type of story spending too much time with any of them would slow the pace in an undesirable way.

The art of The Bends is clean and simple, all black and white, built of heavy lines and well defined panels; the style works well with the simplicity of the story line. Again a very classic crime-noire look that builds a world full of shadows and stark, ugly realities. The characters all look a little tired and worn, some with an appropriate snarl or heavy brow that belies their intentions. 

It’s a quick, easy read that does a good job of keeping you pulled in and interested in what’s coming next. I enjoyed the story, for what it is, and definitely recommend giving it a read if you’re a fan of noire style stories, but I also struggle to find much else to say about The Bends here. It’s not a story that reaches very far beyond what’s been seen before, and it’s a one shot, so there’s nothing left to wonder about. Again, if crime stories with clean, well drawn art are your thing, check it out and maybe even head over to support it in print through Kickstarter.

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TOME by 44FLOOD Kickstarter

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44FLOOD is a brand new publishing project comprised of Menton3 (Silent Hill, Monocyte), Kasra Ghanbari (Monocyte), Ben Templesmith (Wormwood: Gentlemen Corpse) and Nick Idell (Owner of Alley Cat Comics, Chicago). It’s a true creator owned company, committed to bringing readers top notch material. The first thing 44FLOOD has planned is a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of an amazing collaborative art publication called TOME.

TOME will be an annual anthology in an oversized format showcasing world-class artists as they explore a single theme using  comic book, painting, and music mediums.  The first theme of TOME is vampirism. TOME will gather together a huge lineup of artists presenting their unique interpretations of vampirism in whatever form they choose, including artist to artist interviews. The Kickstarter launches today. If you love art, comics and everything they could be, when given the right medium and environment to grow, you must get in on this.

Nick Idell, Menton3, Ben Templesmith, Kasra Ghanbari

Not only will you have the opportunity to be part of the beginning of a huge creation that will packed to the hilt with super talent, you’ll get endless chances to be rewarded with some truly incredible, limited edition swag. I’m not bullshitting you when I say every donation to this Kickstarter will get you something brag worthy.

44FLOOD is a great group of guys with outstanding talent and I promise you that whatever these guys produce will blow you away. Please jump on the Kickstarter page, check out the details and consider supporting TOME. I damn sure will be!

Kickstarter (search for TOME)

44FLOOD on Facebook

44FLOOD Twitter

 

Review: Product of Society #5

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Product of Society is an indie publication created by John Michael Lennon of CheeseLord Comics. Each book is a stand alone anthology, and each story contained within a special variation of weird and unusual. What originally piqued my interest in this was B. Alan Hubbard, one of the contributing writers to Monocyte #2, but after digging into it I found so much more to tickle me. Since there are so many, very different stories in this collection, I will give you a little taste of what you can expect.

Re: Salvation is the first story (written by B. Alan Hubbard, art by John Michael Lennon) and it’s a trippy, creepy stroll down coma lane. A man comes face to face with his failures and those failures are merciless. While his family and ‘loved ones’ watch over his motionless body, David struggles to free himself from the prison of his own mind. It’s not a happy story, but also doesn’t lack a certain self deprecating humor. The art in this one isn’t so much my favorite in the book, but it’s a style I think some will appreciate for it’s no-frills, clean look.

The short Brain Hungry, by Don Hills, Kyle Lawler and Donovan Klingel is quick and sweet. And by sweet I mean not so sweet. It is the Wizard of Oz’s Tinman meets Jigsaw. The art was pretty great in this; a dark, shadowy, sketchy style that clearly creates a mood of danger and death to come.

 

The 19th Circle of Hell, a goofy story about a kid trying to wrangle a demon to come and sweep him away from his boring, suburban life takes a fun, if predictable, turn for the worst. At first glance, the art felt a tad ‘young’ to me, but I must admit before I was halfway through the story it really grew on me, quickly filling out and growing into a more substantial presence in the story. This kid inadvertently invites a nasty guest into his neighborhood and finds himself battling one of the most historically bad ass demons a naive Satanist could hope to conjure.

 

This book is a little fucked up and a lot silly. But it’s also very enjoyable and a hell of a deal, offering eight stories for the price of a single issue. CheeseLord Comics is a small, indie group of creators in Chicago, so Product of Society will be available starting March 4, at DanCon, at limited local comic stores and possibly digital in the near future. It appears the quickest way to get your hands on this little gem is through the CheeseLord ebay store. You all know how I feel about supporting creator owned work, so do it. This one is well worth a read and the group of artists and writers involved in it are well worth supporting.

 

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