This week’s best of ComiXology Submit features: hipster science fiction in Errol Dynamic #1; super-powered reality TV antics in Good Guys #1; ghostly crime capers in The Ghost Engine; and monstrous werewolves in Who Needs The Moon? #4.
Errol Dynamic #1 (Plier Pants)
Cory McCallum and Matthew Daley’s Errol Dynamic is part pulp science-fiction adventure, part hipster design project. It’s not great on narrative with it’s fairly formulaic tale of a washed up Buck Rogers style adventurer with a broken heart and a robot butler being sent out on a rescue mission by the all-powerful K.A.R.P., but it sure as hell looks fantastic! Daley’s highly stylised artwork may not be anatomically correct with it’s elongated arms and disjointed poses, but every page feels perfectly constructed and styled to make it look as cool as possible which works to perfection! If it were any cooler it would be walking down Shoreditch high street, twiddling it’s ironic moustache while drinking an ethically sourced espresso. Errol’s so cool he even has his own theme song which you can download from the guys’ website. The world’s first hipster sci-fi comic is here at last!
Purchase Errol Dynamic #1 from ComiXology for £1.49/$1.99
Ghost Engine (Loser City)
Inside the heads of an arrogant high-stakes art thief and a charming southern bounty hunter are two Victorian ghosts (one good, one evil) who are looking to restart the mysterious The Ghost Engine in order to get access to the afterlife. Danny Djeljosevic’s genre-mashing comic is a confusing muddle at times, mixing modern day crime capers, odd couple buddy adventuring and Victorian supernaturalism with aliens, monsters and black ops scientists. Even writing a synopsis of this story is difficult thanks to a story which is told across two centuries and a hell of a lot of flashbacks. It is definitely ambitious in scale, if not always accomplished in it’s execution, however fortunately it has a strong central idea and engaging main characters who are strong enough to reward you with a fun read if you persevere. Djeljosevic is ably assisted by Headspace artist Eric Zawadzki who gives the whole book a crisp and contemporary look and feel, ably mastering both the modern day and Victorian scenes with aplomb. Although a confusing read at first, The Ghost Engine has the potential to be a really fun franchise which we hope gets a return edition, because once the characters are established it makes for a great read.
Purchase The Ghost Engine from ComiXology for £2.49/$2.99
Good Guys #1 (Good Guys Comics)
The latest addition to the post-modern superhero genre, Neil Alexander’s world of super-powered ‘Su-Lebs’ and non-powered ‘No-Pos’ reads like the love child of Bryan Hitch’s America’s Got Powers and Garth Ennis’ The Boys. In a very well-trodden sub-genre it has a surprisingly fresh feel thanks to it’s mix of super-powered celebrity antics and crude humour and writer/artist Neil Alexander does a great job of parodying the world of superheros, reality TV and celebrities, poking fun at shows like I’m a Celebrity and X-Factor but giving them a superhero slant. Mixing quirky slapstick with the odd bit of crude gross-out, it avoids going full-on in either direction and is much stronger as a result. Alexander’s artwork is brimming with personality and action, however with it being in black and white it makes the whole thing looks unfinished which is a shame because despite this, the Good Guys is a pretty great read!
Purchase Good Guys #1 from ComiXology for £0.69/$0.99
PICK OF THE WEEK
Who Needs The Moon? #4 (Todd McCullough)
Todd McCullough’s dark tale of a werewolf living in a town overrun by vampires and ghosts may sound like another re-run of the Twilight/True Blood formula, but it’s a far more emotionally complex and darker take on this familiar horror staple. Following a dark revelation about his past at the end of issue #3 main character Ethan unleashes his animalistic side in two particular unsettling scenes, one involving extreme violence and one involving a much more unpleasant sexual attack on his supposed friend Pauly. The latter is a harrowing and uncomfortable read, made worse by it being juxtaposed against a narrative told through Pauly’s daughter’s diary. Including a sexual assault in a comic is not something which a writer should take lightly and McCullough handles it in an intelligent manner giving the scene context and repercussions while never treating it as throwaway or an inconsequential moment. If anything it is so much more distressing than the opening scenes of violence against the vampires. In a recent interview with us Todd discussed how he wanted to make comics where monsters were able to be monstrous, not just ‘cool anti-heros’ and in this issue they truly are that. A remarkable read and one of the most horrific horror books we have read this year – although reader discretion is most definitely advised!
Purchase Who Needs The Moon #4 for £0.69/$0.99 from ComiXology