Post-apocalyptic survival tales, from The Walking Dead to Mad Max: Fury Road, have been all the rage as of late, even to the point of excess in some cases. While over-saturation and watered-down ripoffs are always a concern (and, honestly, are expected) when a specific genre like this takes off, one “wasteland warrior” tale that is certainly worth your time is the premier issue of the indie comic The Birdlander written by Aaron Walther and illustrated by Ed Bickford.
It’s difficult to tell whether I love Cinder, the protagonist of Gutter Magic, or hate him. In my review of the last issue, I talked about his incredible bravado, with nothing to back it up but the assumption that everything will work out in his favor, and the gamble that no one will call his bluff. This issue explores that attitude a bit further, making him both more and less sympathetic, simultaneously.
When last we left our holistic detective hero, he was on his way to Kenya to meet a peculiar tribe suffering from the same affliction as the subjects of his latest case—they are unable to speak or communicate in any way. Now, having safely arrived in Africa with Tamasha, his latest client and/or assistant, by his side, he seeks out Madluck Biggun, a conservationist trying valiantly to save the black rhino. What does Mr. Biggun have to do with the Tribe with No Words? Well, everything—if you believe in the fundamental connectedness of all things.
There’s a point while cooking stew when all of the ingredients and their flavors coalesce, and it’s brilliant. When stew is slow cooked, and everything becomes tender – even better. You bite down and everything bursts in your mouth. That’s where we are with the newest issue of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird. We’ve spent time with each of the characters individually - learning about them: who they are, what they mean to each other, and what they want from each other. Now, Caitlin R. Kiernan puts them all in the same room, and the flavors burst. What do the demented siblings want of the resurrected Dancy, how far will Dancy go to keep her love Maisy safe, and where will the verbally gifted bird fit in?
This issue is a good jumping-on point for new readers, as we find ourselves at the beginning of a new tale being woven and the introduction of a new potential antagonist. And, when a new villain is introduced in Harrow County, you want to pay attention, because no one is who they appear to be.
This book is hard. Hard to read, hard to look at, and hard to process. But, that’s what makes it so fantastic. Very few times has a book made me this uncomfortable but want to read more of it so much. The Violent is dark, grimy, and rough. But, it’s also a terrific story, one that hits every emotional beat that’s necessary to make for a quality book and many more.
What I was hoping for in issue #1 of Kennel Block Blues, I get in issue #2.
I first came across Roger Langridge’s work with his previous kaBOOM! title, Abigail and the Snowman, a children’s series about a young girl who befriends an invisible, friendly yeti. It was charming, fun, and polite. There is nothing even remotely offensive about Langridge’s work, but, on the other hand, there isn’t a lot for adults to sink their teeth into. It’s more Muppet Babies than Tiny Toons. Charming children’s stories to the end.
Hey, all! Another month means another treasure trove of independent storytellers’ goods loaded into a box and shipped to your door. IndyStash’s second box has a lot going on, and we’ll get to the goodness in just a moment. IndyStash wants to keep the goods coming to us and to everyone, so they’re going to be funding the Independent Creators Foundation, helping to promote and give a hand to artists and writers who need an extra boost to get their stuff in front of an audience. Since this is much in line with what we at Fanboy Comics are doing with the #CrowdfundingFridays promotional series, we’re super excited to see something like this take off. So, if you’re on the fence about joining the monthly goodies box, just think of all the creators that you’ll be helping along, which means more content for us to enjoy! And, since we’re in the business of small creators getting their work out there, IndyStash is offering our readers a pretty sweet deal: If you are signing up for the month-to-month service for the first time, use promo code “FANBOY” to get 50% off of your first box, which also includes an extra comic as a welcome gift.