Digital Indie Comics Round Up (July 2015) Big Punch Magazine, Metazoa, Creepy Scarlett and A Song For Heroes
Every month we discover loads of great indie comics which cannot always review in full on the site. So here’s a round-up of some of the best new indie digital comics which we’ve been checking out this month including Jon Lock and Nich Angell’s Big Punch Magazine, Metazoa, Creepy Scarlett and web comic A Song For Heroes!
Big Punch Magazine #1 (Big Punch Studios)
Not content with just drawing and writing hit indie comics like 7 String and Afterlife Inc, UK creators Nich Angell and Jon Locke have teamed up with their Big Punch Studio compadres Lucy Brown and Alice White to create a quarterly anthology featuring completely new characters and stories – how do they find the time to eat sleep and breathe?! Featuring 5 fantastic tales (Cuckoos, Orb, 99 Swords and The Wall) they are designed to be part of a larger multiverse containing all their characters (including the aforementioned 7String and Afterlife Inc who don’t feature here). Stand outs for this first issue are 99 Swords, which sees a young girl discover a mysterious talking sword in her parents’ attic and the always wonderful Cat and Meringue, who give the whole issues a generous dose of quirky humour. For fans of Nich and Jon’s other work BPM is packed full of their trademark world building and slick artwork, in a smartly designed package, while the whole thing has the kind of infectious enthusiasm that you can’t help but be carried along with. Whether this is your first time reading their work or you are a long time fan then Big Punch Magazine is a must-read and perfect for comic fans of all ages.
Purchase BPM #1 from the Big Punch Studios Comicsy site
Creepy Scarlett Volume 1 (Last Sunset Comics)
Creepy Scarlett is one of those books that breaks all the traditional rules of what should work when it comes to creating a coherent story and character – but manages to create a really enjoyable product as a result. From first impressions, it looks like it is going to be a Neil Gaiman-esque Gothic tale of a troubled youth rallying against the world. But as well as all that there is a roster of eclectic villains that include a dastardly corporation with medieval aspirations, a Harley Quinn-esque circus perfumer and a man with a pumpkin for a head. Then of course there’s Scarlett herself who has a rather unhealthy obsession with her teddy bear and candy, and in an early issue we see her training in swordplay in Japan before engaging in combat in a circus. Normally, a book with this many disparate ideas would be an incomprehensible mess, but writer Graeme Buchan has manage to pull all these strands together to make a rather enjoyable tale of a troubled girl in a crazy world that defies your preconceptions. Artist Felipe Sanhueza, while not the most polished, gives the book a great sense of vibrancy and handles all these eclectic elements well. So if you’re after something a bit different from the norm then you could do a lot worse than giving Creepy Scarlett a try.
Purchase Creepy Scarlet Book One from DriveThru Comics
Metazoa volume 1 (Metazoa comics)
Peter Marshall Smith and Sandy Brion Spreitz’s cyberpunk noir is set in a world where human/animal hybrids known as Animalia have evolved their own society down species specific lines. Lead character Ram is a grizzly bear who works for the panda mob and is unceremoniously removed from his position as one of their ‘problem solvers’ and given a beat down for his troubles. This leads to him crossing paths with the mysterious Gabriel and Ava, a process which lets us learn more about Ram, but also the history and world of Metazoa. Densely crafted by writer Smith, Metazoa is a surreal Bladerunner-esque world packed full of weird and wonderful characters. These are immaculately rendered by artist Spreitz in a mix of paints and coloured pencils, that give the book a very organic and granular feel. While issue #1 feels like generic indie noir, issue #2 begins to flesh out the world with some surreal dreamlike flashback sequences and Ram is revealed to be just dislikable enough that you want to keep reading to find out what happens to him.
Purchase Metazoa from ComiXology or support their IndieGoGo campaign here
A Song Of Heroes (Kickstarter)
Writer Patrick Ireland is a classical singer by day, but his webcomic A Song Of Heroes lets him share his love of 80s cartoons and classic Marvel and DC comics with the world. Set on a planet filled with insect/human hybrids the story is split between the ‘present day’ where the bullying Thug Bug attempts to excavate a mine and find the secrets of a lost civilisation for his father the Red Wizard. While 2 million years in the past we begin to learn about why that civilisation collapsed and that perhaps the Wizard should leave things covered up! It definitely achieves Ireland’s desire to create a new take on Saturday morning cartoons and is especially reminiscent Master of the Universe with characters called Spy Fly and Thug Bug. Visually it borrows heavily from that 80s cartoon aesthetic too with simple lines and a hint of Anime thrown in for some of the facial features. Although the story is fun, if rather formulaic, it does lack an obvious hero to root for, and the excessive use of insectoid voices with a ZZZs instead is SSSs gets very infuriating after a few pages!
Help support A Song For Heroes via Kickstarter or read the first issue on the Song For Heroes website