It’s that time of year once again, where we start running down the very best indie comics of 2019 and build towards our Indie Comic Of The Year 2019 poll. We start with some fantastic anthologies, zombie fairytales, grumpy unicorns and golf powered aliens!
#50 Brawler #1
This fantastic new anthology from TimeBomb Comics’ Steve Tanner and Amnesia Agents Jason Cobley sets out to channel the spirit of classic 70s anthology Warrior. And so, what you get is a rip-roaringly fun read, packed full of exciting creator owned series. From the opening cover by Staz Johnston with a dinosaur attacking some soldiers, you know what you are in collection packed with over the top action! The first issue delivers this brilliantly with a fantastic mix of titles from a wide range of creators. There’s a nice mix of new titles alongside a couple of established titles, such as Cobley’s Amnesia Agents and an exclusive new chapter of Dan Whitehead’s Frankenstein Texas. If the subsequent issues can maintain this high quality, then we are in for a knock out new read.
Read our full review of Brawler #1 here
#49 The Tammy & Jinty Special 2019
After the successful relaunch of Scream and Misty last year, the folk at Rebellion have brought back another IPC comic classic – or rather two of them with this year’s Tammy and Jinty Special. While the original was aimed at girls, this is much more than just a comic aimed at one gender, it’s a fantastically fun read for kids of all ages – but with a predominance of female characters and creators. This one shot was built around Rocky Of The Rovers (the female cousins of Roy – who is also getting the reboot treatment this year) and it gives the series that focal point which we often lament as being missing in anthologies like this. This is then backed up with stories from some of small press’ best names such as Rachael Smith, Kate Ashwin and Sarah Milman (to name but a few!). A fantastically fun read that should appeal to all, and the only negative is that this isn’t the start of a new ongoing series.
Read our full reviews of the Tammy and Jinty Special here
48. Golf Girl #1
If you think golf is just “pool who people with oversized binoculars”, then this is the comic for you. Christopher Hazeldine’s fantastically funny comic sees a young girl who works in a golf shop, but hates golf, get possessed by the spirit of an intergalactic golf sprite and given alien golf powers. While this may sound like it is a very golf heavy book, it is anything but, as the main core of the book is based around Jen and her friends bickering (as all teenagers do!). As such, it has a very John Allison feel to it with plenty of ridiculous running jokes and bags of quirky dialogue and sight gags which will make you chuckle on every page. While the whole thing is a bit rough around the edges it has an inherent charm at it’s core which will make you keen to keep reading, A real diamond in the rough!
Read our full review of Golf Girl here.
#47 Our Final Halloween #2
The first issue of Mike Garley and Mike Lee Graham’s high concept halloween series began with a bang as a group of teenagers wake up in a room covered in blood – how did they get there and whose blood is it? While this first issue was just intended as a one shot, Garley and Graham have expanded the story to a four issue mini series, and with that comes answers to those all important questions which the first issue left dangling. Garley does a fantastic job fleshing out the enigmatic first issue’s story and turns it from a high concept slasher book into a more considered and much more creepy whodunnit which has a very Stephen King feel to it.Meanwhile artist Graham continues to create some of the most dazzling and unconventional colour combinations in all of small press!
Read our full review of Our Final Halloween here
#46 Elk Mountain #1
Coming up with a fresh take on a classic superhero story isn’t easy, which is why when it works it really stands out. Elk Mountain from Jordan Clark and Vince Underwood follows all powerful hero Valor, who has set out his mission to defend his hometown of Elk Mountain above all else. As such Elk Mountain becomes a paragon of hope in a fractured world. But what happens to this small town utopia when Valor gets taken away by an alien invader?! Will the villains finally be able to conquer this utlimate of prizes. Elk Mountain has the feel of a classic alternate universe Superman story, but with the art of Bryan Hitch in America’s Got Powers. It’s a fantastic slice of contemporary superhero story telling that uses classic tropes in a really unique way. If you are frustrated by the Big Two not giving you the kind of superhero stories you want, then Elk Mountain just might be the alternative!
Read our full review of Elk Mountain here.
#45 The Adventures of Pup and Grumpicorn
This collection of stories featuring a hyperactive, doughnut loving dog and a moody unicorn in search of ‘noble foods’ comes courtesy of Emily Owen and Gav Mitchell. It’s a gloriously silly collection of short stories that sees our heroes get caught up with unicorn eating trolls, cross the galaxy in a spaceship and even end up in a wrestling ring. It’s very silly, but lots of fun as Emily packs each story with daft jokes and Gav renders everything in his incredibly diverse and polished style. With the kind of high energy silliness and attention to detail that we love in the Etherington Brothers’ work (including a Von Doogan style maze at the back), this is a little glmpse into what a fantastic comic a fully fledged Pup and Grumpicorn adventure could be, and we really hope we get to see more!
Read our full review of The Adventures of Pup and Grumpicorn here
#44 Chip McFitz: Joint Fever
It’s time to take another trip into the caffeine fuelled world of sleep deprived journalist Chip McFitz. This time he is going undercover into the city’s seedy underworld after watching a public information film about the perils of marijuana use. Creator Mat Greaves brilliantly channels the spirit of those classic fear mongering films from the 50s and mixes them up with the gloriously silly world of Chip to create another fantastic read. If James Ellroy wrote for Adult Swim, then he would be somewhere in the ball park of Chip McFitz, as Greaves takes his classic pulp characters and adds in some psychedelic hippy elements as well as a flashback into Chip’s past to create a really clever and very funny read.
Read our full review of Chip McFitz Joint Fever here.
#43 Snow White Zombie Apocalypse (Scout Comics)
Base on the fairly generic cover we were expecting this to be a fairly generic undead fairytale. But instead we got a fantastic genre mash up that sees classic fairytale characters do battle with the undead while laugh out loud dialogue files round the page every bit as much as blood and guts. After a bloodthirsty intro to Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, we get to meet Rapunzel (a plucky zombie killing bad ass) and her side kick Charming (the goofy prince who keeps trying to rescue damsels in distress, only to get them into even more trouble). A really fun and engaging read is contrasted with some truly horrifying visuals, but never at the expense of the characters who drive this story forward at break neck speed. With the potential for a wider universe of characters, there may even be hope of a happy ending for this awesome genre mash up.
Read our full review of Snow White Zombie Apocalypse here.
#42 MULP: Sceptre of the Sun #5 (Improper Books)
A constant presence in this list, however the final issue of this glorious anthropomorphic archaeological adventure is bitter sweet for regular readers. On one hand it means the conclusion to a series that was 5 years in the making. But on the flip side, it means no more new MULP comics in the immediate future! Matt Gibbs and Sara Dunkerton have created one of the most glorious series in small press, with Gibbs wonderfully layered and rich story working perfectly with Sara’s gorgeous and intricate artwork. We’ve called it “Indiana Jones meets Bramley Hedge” but it is so much more than just another cutesy animal book, with a pulp adventure serial feel to it. It is a truly glorious read with a really timeless quality. At least we have a good excuse to re-read the whole thing again now!
Read our full review of MULP #5 here.
#41 Glorious Wrestling Alliance: Premium Collection
It’s been a great year for indie wrestling comics, however Josh Hicks’ Glorious Wrestling Alliance continues to set the gold standard that these young pretenders have to match up with. Based on the whacky world of 80s pro wrestling, the GWA is more than just your over muscled, grappling stereotypes, instead Hicks has brought to the series the surreal silliness of small press. This means the champion is a fishman, the villain is also a poet and the sidekick is a character who looks like a gravy boat. While Hicks packs the book full of wrestling in jokes, it’s not just for wrestling fans. There is enough gloriously daft humour in there for all, and some fantastically stylised pages that make this into a truly main event read.
Read our full review of GWA Premium Collection here