Small Press Spotlight: Ciccadian Rhythms, L1MA, Bun

For our final round-up of new small press comics debuting at this year’s Thought Bubble, we look at three connected books. First up is the new offering from Madius Comics and their violent fantasy one-shot  Ciccdian Rhythms; after that is a piece of solo work from Cicadian Rhythms’ artist Gustavo Vargas called L1MA; and finally is another new Madius book in the shape of The Incredible Bun.

Ciccadian Rhythms

Those mercurial mavericks Madius Comics have recruited Trujillo artist Gustavo Vargas for their latest short story Cicadian Rhythms. Released under the Papercuts and Inkstains Presents banner, it’s a blood soaked black and white fantasy story that sees a tavern invaded by a horde of dragons only to be rescued by a confident female warrior who arrived moments before. It’s a fairly short and succinct story, but the two stars of the show are: the trademark Madius humour, especially in the opening pages involving Horatio; and also Vargas’ incredible artwork. Benefiting from being black and white it really allows you to see his line work in all its glory and detail (although the centre read may be too detailed and needs some shadows to help differentiate what is what) and his violent gritty style works perfectly with this kind of grim fantasy adventure. As a part of a full issue of Papercuts this would be a stand out offering, however we’re not sure it’s quite got enough to warrant a full issue. However with its open ended conclusion, then it could well develop into something rather more interesting in the future.

You can find the Madius team at Tables 5b-6 of the Originals Marquee

L1ma

That Gustavo Vargas is a busy man, with two books vying for your Thought Bubble money! For this follow up to the excellent Trujillo, he has created another slice of darkly violent near-future sci-fi. On the streets of Lima, a group of street kids witness two colourful gangsters kill each other and in the satchel that remains is a squid with weird powers. This sees the kids unwittingly drawn into the violent underbelly of disgruntled crime gangs who want their mollusc back. As with Trujillo, L1MA is another stylish, but violent piece of science fiction. The world building is outstanding and some of the characters designs out of this world. The use of South American imagery creates a very other worldly feel and the use of animals again makes it feel very dark and surreal. L1MA is also a very violent and bloody read, and with some of the more extreme violence dished out to the young heroes it isn’t always the most comfortable of reads. As with Trujillo it also finishes before it really gets going, but this doesn’t stop it from being a another fantastic showcase for what an interesting and original creator Vargas is becoming.

You can find Gustavo at Table 68A in the Ask For Mercy Marquee

The Incredible Bun

Originally known simply as Bun, Mike Sambrooks’ debut solo comic made it’s first appearance at last year’s Thought Bubble as a 12 page preview, and it was enough to convince us this was going to be something rather special. A year on, and Sambrook and artist Rosie Packwood have managed to fill out the story to full length and with it developed the strange world of a giant rabbit looking to fit in to the world into a proper story. Having arrived in the city, and required to defend himself on the tube, Bun is coerced into working for a shady business man in an animal fighting league and we get to see Bun’s first bout and also his training. It’s all familiar Rocky type stuff, but when combined with the uniqueness of those opening pages that introduce us to the world of this adorable bunny, then it makes the whole thing feel like something much more unique. It also helps make it feel even more quirky, and also allows the slightly more gritty edge that we expect from a Madius book to start to sneak through. With the events of this first issue now delicately poised, we cannot wait to see whether The Incredible Bun remains a knockout the next time he steps into the ring!

You can find the Madius team at Tables 5b-6 of the Originals Marquee

Author: Alex Thomas

Alex Thomas is the Editor and founder of PIpedream Comics. He grew up reading comics in the 90s, so even though he loves all things indie and small press, he is easily distracted by a hologram cover.