COMIC BOOK REVIEW: INDIE COMICS MAGAZINE #9 / AUTHOR: VARIOUS / ARTIST: VARIOUS / PUBLISHER: AAZURN PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The Spring 2015 edition of Indie Comics Magazine is the ninth release from Aazurn Publishing committed to providing a channel for independent comic creators. This particular set of pieces is collected under the theme of The Adventure Issue. It comprises eight stories over 64 pages.
Like books of short stories, concepts such as this are to be admired. Short stories are difficult to get right and the need to also illustrate and ink makes the challenge harder. Such collections are often a great way to discover new talent and often worth dipping into.
The eight stories are a varied and eclectic mix of superheroes, zombies, quirky science, aliens and the supernatural. The set is bookended (as often happens) by the two strongest stories: CruZader Agent of the Vatican by Omar Morales, and the superbly named Toots Malloy, Blues Ninja: They call it the Blues, an ensemble project created by Patrick Cline.
CruZader is traditional stuff – a larger than life costumed hero fighting the Klu Klux Klan and spreading their prophecies. Not only is the story action packed, it’s also drawn with an accomplished skill and real attention to detail. If you’ve read a dozen similar tales before, this one is still worth seeking out.
Toots Malloy is mad. For no explained reason it is set in a world of human animals, and its hero is a sword-wielding, sax-playing marmoset. If this sounds like it might be your kind of story, look it up. In this sample story, Toots discovers his love of the blues. It’s the kind of story where the first few frames make you go “what?” but by the end you are going “wow!”
It’s not all good news, though. Most of the other stories are weaker either in plot or in delivery, with minimalist artwork that exposes the shortcomings in the underlying stories. There are plenty of good ideas, and tastes differ. No one piece dominates proceedings, but as a whole there is a sense of disappointment as the bulk of the material brings down the overall standard.
Overall, a mixed bag.
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