It’s an exciting time to be a part of the indie comic scene at the moment and one of the main reasons is anthologies and monthly serials. Along with Dark Matter, which we reviewed earlier in the week, one of the most exciting has to be Comichaus – The British Independent Monthly, which collects serials and one off’s from a batch of very talented creators and presenting them in a well polished, high end product.
Price: £5 per issue from Comichaus
Our rating: [star rating=”4.5″]
In these days of easily accessible digital comics and cheaper mass produced mainstream comics it’s a treat to hold something in your hands that feels well made and crafted with a passion. The individual issues of Comichaus feel like small graphic novels, high resolution print, tough pages and covers give you the feeling of value for money and that’s just the physical side of things, what’s on the pages is what’s important and is where you get a return on your money.
There is not one story among those collected in the first three issues of Comichaus that isn’t entertaining and exciting enough to leave you waiting for the next instalment. A book like this is only as strong as it’s weakest strip and with this book it’s hard to pick out which one that is. Each story is engaging, well crafted and entertaining as much as the last and there is a healthy mixture too. From Thriller to Western Fantasy to Science Fiction, Comichaus has something for every kind of comic fan. Presented in black and white the issues feel like throwbacks to the heyday of 2000AD’s Future Shocks features, a staple of British comics, Comichaus could very well join it up there among the lofty heights.
The stories kicking off Comichaus in its early issues are varied as mentioned before, there’s Karyn Shade in Beyond Forth, tracking a missing person Karyn finds herself in a battle with an insane religious cult with some beyond creepy practices who find out the hard way that Karyn can handle herself. Written by James Mcculloch and drawn by Jessica Byne it’s a claustrophobic thrill to follow Karyn through the fear soaked nights in the middle of nowhere, keeping her wits about her and her head in her shoulders whilst coming face to face with supernatural foes. We have Dave Cook and Norrie Miller’s Feather which is a dark and twisting tale of fear amongst a pandemic of otherworldly proportions, drawn in an old school comic fashion that fits the tone and plot perfectly.
From there we’re treated to some incredible Science Fiction action in Suited and Booted from Jon Laight and Dan Butcher which has one of the most intriguing and original plot’s we’ve seen on the indie scene when it comes to Sci-Fi and this strip really amps up in the second and third acts. The Troubleshooters is a beautifully pencil drawn mixture of Western and Fantasy that packs a bit or two within its panels. Luke Cooper’s Mortality is a treat from the afterlife, an unexpectedly amusing twist on the grim reaper and the perception of one’s personal version of hell. Comichaus also ends on a one shot in each issue, the first being Mum & Dad, a deeply disturbing Alan Moore-esqe tale of a young baby copying his parents actions with devastating consequences. The second issue’s one shot, from Ward’s Doc Dino co-creator Chris Welsh, is told uniquely through a keyhole and ends as the last did on a twist.
issue #3 opens with a new piece, Chalk, written by Steven Horry and beautifully drawn by Catia Fantini, nothing is really given away in an extremely powerful intro, there is not a lot to say to those who haven’t read it such is it’s weight but we’re confident in saying it’s one of the most hard hitting intros to a story and despite playing its cards close to it’s chest it’s clear Chalk is going to be a flagship for Comichaus. The one shot for the third issue is titled Return and is by James Calderbank who tells a dark and mysterious alternative history telling of the Moon landings and the space race, it’s an intriguing opening to a much wider story that can be continued online. In closing there is a lot that can be said about Comichaus, it’s bold and daring, it’s a well polished and high quality product and it does it’s job in giving both established and upcoming independent talent exposure to a wider audience with some fantastically entertaining strips.
Comichaus has the potential to grow into a huge part of the indie scene. Anyone with an interest in indie should be excited that such a great product is on shelves for all and not only should veteran readers be excited but those looking to get into comics should be too as there are few things better to start with than monthly anthologies and with one of such quality you cannot go wrong.