We ‘ve not reviewed Comichaus since a glowing write-up of their first issue, but in that time this anthology has gone from strength to strength and even secured a nomination as one of our 10 best comics of 2016. So we thought it was about time we looked at the latest issue of this indie anthology and we were immediately taken by just how far this indie anthology has come in a very short amount of time.
Price: £5 from Comichaus
Comichaus has matured into a very professional looking comic for it’s fourth issue, with several regular strips making their return (Chalk, by Steven Horry and Caita Fantini, for example, or Jon Laight and Dan Butcher’s Suited and Booted, which concludes in this issue) and The Cave standing in as this issues ‘Future Shock’ done-in-one story.
With a handy one-page summary of all the going stories, it helps to get your head round what is going on, but in some cases we were still scratching our head. Chalk – the opener – is beautifully and adeptly illustrated, with bold, solid characters, but we were left in somewhat of a quandary as the action takes place over several timezones and in just a few pages. Maybe this is more our fault for not following the story in the previous issue, but it’s always worth considering that every issue of a comic could be someone’s first issue. Having said that, the stellar artwork on this, and what promises to be a fun time travelling caper with a strong female lead to boot, will probably have you wondering what you’ve missed in the previous instalments and encourage you to go seek them out as they’re all still available to buy. The cliffhanger ending does seem to start bringing about these disparate threads together and we look forward to reading what comes next.
Overall, the artwork, as noted previously, has come on leaps and bounds, sometimes at the risk of outshining the story. But, not totally. Dave Cook and Norrie Millar’s Biblically inspired Feather is a gripping yarn set against the backdrop of the American invented Rapture, and what happened to those that were left behind, fighting off God’s SASA; The Seraphim. At the heart of it, it would seem, it is a story of family and an attempt at reconciliation by the main protagonist, all the more complicated when it’s taking place during the ongoing apocalypse. They didn’t say anything about this in the Book of Revelations!
Others stories in this anthology also lean towards sci-fi, and while we know that wasn’t – and isn’t – the intention of Comichaus, it does then lend itself to the obvious comparisons with 2000AD. And, it’s a promising comparison if we are, as we should, be comparing this fledging title with the early days of 2000AD. While it doesn’t necessarily have the humour or biting satire that cemented 2000AD’s early reputation, it does a great job of spotlighting new and emerging talent. Luke Cooper, for example, an artist we have followed for a while now, has matured as an artist, and stands as a good example of how the creators (writers or artists) have developed their craft.
What’s missing – for now – are the stable of recognisable characters that 2000AD was so good at developing in the early days (albeit in some cases by aping already successful franchises from other mediums – M.A.C.H. 1 being the obvious example), but, we have no doubt, that too will come in time.
A solid, developed, polished fourth issue, suggesting this is a comic we were right to spotlight. A comic that seems to go from strength to strength with each issue.
Author: Olly MacNamee
Olly MacNamee teaches English and Media, for his sins, in a school somewhere in Birmingham. Some days, even he doesn’t know where it is. Follow him on twitter @ollymacnamee or read about his exploits at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or don’t.