We start the new year with first our collection of the best indie digital comics featuring: punk rock tales in Chunks, a all female horror anthology from Hellcat Press called Dark Lady; lots of people getting punched in the face in Punchface; and some experimental slice of life tales in Sliced Quarterly.
Chunks #1-2 (Chunks Comic)
Matt Garvey and Cris Canfailla’s world of struggling bandmates is part music, but mostly mayhem, as struggling punk band the Pineapple Chunks attempt to make it big in LA. Along the way they encounter beardy sheriffs after a DUI, unwelcoming locals, and the perils of playing punk rock at a kids birthday party (along with some adult antics which we probably shouldn’t mention here!). Garvey’s joke-packed script mixes a US setting with plenty of Brit banter and reads like an anarchic UK sitcom like The Young Ones or Bottom in comics form. With Brit lead singer Johnny constantly bickering with guitarist Rik, Garvey has the Chunks’ Mick and Keef to build the story around, which leaves the rest of the Chunks misfits to pick up the pieces afterwards. Chunks is brought to life by Cris Canfailla’s expressive artwork which mixes big hair, and even bigger eyebrows, with a punky cartoonish edge that gives the series a slick look that perfectly captures the grungey world of it’s protagonists without resorting to fanzine cliche. All that’s missing from the Chunks reading experience is a garage rock soundtrack with some power chords and howling feedback turned up to 11, so plug in and rock out with this bunch of bickering, wannabe rock stars!
Read the first 6 pages of Chunks via their website
Dark Lady (Hellcat press)
This anthology of horror comics written by women and edited by Lindsay Moore gives the genre an interesting new perspective with unsettling tales that don’t rely on blood soaked machismo to scare you senseless. As always with anthologies the quality is mixed, with many of the offerings in Dark Lady having a rather DIY style to them with rough, sketchy artwork and quite a bit of hand lettering. While it may not have the most polished of artwork, the stories are pretty interesting and give a nice balance of chills thrills and even a bit of dark humour. Stand outs include The Procedure (about a woman whose mouth is sewn shut as a reaction to sexist comic fans), The Cats Came Back (a Pet Semetrary-esque tale about zombie cats) and Chickadee (about a giant rampaging bird which is part Godzilla part Springwatch!). But perhaps the best of the bunch is Hanna-Pirita Lehkonen’s Zits which sees a woman turn into a murderous giant as a result of popping the spots in her boyfriends back – genuinely horrific!
Purchase Dark Lady from the Hellcat Press website
Punch Face #1 (Heartless Comics)
Purchase Punchface from Heartless Comics’ Big Cartel Store
Sliced Quarterly (sliced quarterly)
(Ed’s note: If you’re an indie creator who wants to submit a title for a future issue then be sure to drop Ken a line!)
You can download the first issue for free via the Sliced Quarterly website