If you’re a fan of video games and web comics then the name Penny Arcade will probably be probably be very familiar to you –  for those who aren’t well check out their site for some of the funniest online cartoons going. Poking fun at the world of games and the internet since the late 90s, writer Jerry Holkins and artist Mike Karahulik have carved themselves quite the niche as one of the few self-sufficient web comics online. Never ones to rest on their laurels though, Jerry and Mike have decided to dip their toes in the choppy waters of digital comics with their first release Lookouts, published in association with Cryptozoic Entertainment. It’s all part of their new Kickstarter project too, which is aiming for them to be able to finance the website (and Lookouts) without having to rely on advertising, so let’s hope they succeed as on this first offering has the potential to be something well worth developing.

The story follows the group of eponymous Lookouts who are young kids training to be guardians of their village but are more like the boy scouts of Middle Earth. As a sphinx terrorises the local road to Yarrow, killing travellers on their way, so the Lookouts‘ master Samson decides it is time to send them out on a little quest in order to earn another badge. Although the story is a little light in this first issue, writer Ben McCool,  alongside Jerry and Mike themselves,  does a great job of building this world of sphinxes, trolls and magical forest creatures. As well as a well thought out opening chapter, in order to get a more detailed insight into the world they inhabit, there’s a detailed guide to the Lookouts‘ honor badge system at the back of the book which is a really nice touch and goes to show the level of detail we could well come to expect from this book over the coming months.

However the real stars of the book are artists Robb Mommaerts and Mike Norton ably aided by colorist Rainer Petter. The style is both comic-like and cartoony, mixing manga style sharpness and European style humour, which reminded me of Asterisk in places. This helps create a fascinating tone and feel for the characters, which  is made even more vibrant thanks to some superb watercolour effects and natural brush strokes from Petter which  gives the book a really lush organic feel. Along with the quirky humour and well thought out story makes this a real book to watch going forward.

Lookouts is available on ComiXology for £1.99 and for more from the Penny Arcade team check out their website or follow them on Twitter @pa_megacorp

This weeks pull list features not one but five comics, all released by new digital imprint MonkeyBrain Comics. An imprint of MonkeyBrain books, this new line up of titles is an eclectic bunch from children’s fairy tales to post-modern superheroes via supernatural spookiness and more, featuring some of the creme de la creme of current indie talent working on creator owned titles. But what really separates MonkeyBrain Comics from other indie start ups is their competitive pricing. With four of the five titles available for 69p and one at £1.49 (but as a double issue) then these 5 titles cost less than 2 issues of Before Watchmen, so how can you go wrong?!

The new Madefire comic app from Liam Sharp and Ben Wolstenholme isn’t just the cutting edge of digital comics, it’s a completely new format – the motion comic! After speaking to Liam about it back in September last year, this week finally saw the launch of the much anticipated Madefire app and it’s first 3 titles –  Captain Stone is Missing, Mono and Treatment Tokyo. All three are prologues or first chapters to the up-coming titles that Madefire are planning to launch and can be viewed on their completely bespoke viewing platform for free.

Make no mistake, this isn’t just a re-skinned version of ComiXology! Using it’s own bespoke navigation system (the Madefire arrow, which sits on the right hand side of the page and serves as page turner and progress bar) you can view pages literally building in front of you thanks to a series of fantastic animated transitions. There are also cinematic zooms and intricately constructed pages which make the titles feel like much more than just a flat page-turner.  They even use the iPad’s accelerometer on some of the pages (including each book’s cover) to allow you to move elements around on screen while other pages involve 360 degree panoramas that really bring the books to life, but are they any good? Well here is our break down of the first three Madefire titles.

Back in September we spoke to artist Peter Krause about his iPad artwork as well as his work on the brilliant Irredeemable from BOOM! Studios. Since then, he has unveiled a fantastic new digital project, Insufferable,  which he launched alongside Irredeemable writer Mark Waid  via their new website Thrillbent. Telling the story of an aged super-hero and his problematic former sidekick,  Insufferable is released weekly via the Thrillbent website, and  feature a fantastic mix of gritty superhero story-telling mixed with brilliant and innovative artwork and interactive transitions. We wanted to find out more about how Peter went about putting his story together and just what was involved in this new venture.