With the current lockdown situation making it hard to get to the local comic book store or convention to pick up our new reads. One great way to explore the world of indie and small press comics is via the Comichaus app.
Usually available at the bargain price of £3 a month (or £30 a year), while the global health crisis continues you get a 14 day free trial as well as an extra month free using the code ‘STAYSAFE’ and with that you can read a whole host of amazing new indie comics (as well as support your favourite creators). But where to begin on this fantastic service, here’s 10 of our favourites to get you started:
The current holder of our indie comic of the year title, Gustaffo Vargas’ tale of tech-ed up mercenaries hiding in the South American jungle along with cybernetic jaguars is a true small press original. Packed full of invention and originality, this is one of those those books that is so unique that you cannot help but be swept along into it’s wonderfully over the top world. This is truly a creator destined for great things, thanks to his nique approach to writing great comics, and so if you like MANU then be sure to check out the wonderful L1MA and Trujillø which are on here as well.
#2 Red Rocket Comet
Another previous winner of our prestigious indie comic of the year prize, Matt Garvey teams up with artists Grayham Puttock and Andy W Clift to bring a tale of two halves. One is a slice of classic silver age superheroism featuring the titular Red Rocket Comet and his nemesis the Dark Skull. While the second see those two ageing heroes have one last confrontation in the present day. It’s a superb concept for a comic and one which allows both artists to push their work to new heights, using drastically different styles. Meanwhile Garvey’s writing expertly stitches this world together and if you like this be sure to check out his other books like white NOIR, The Ether and The Devil In Disguise.
#3 Rok of The Reds
While the footie season may be postponed for now, John Wagner and Alan Grant’s tale of an alien warlord who takes over the body of a troubled premiership striker (and makes him less obnoxious), is a fantastic alternative to the Saturday kickabout. It’s like Roy of The Rovers meets Invasion of Bodysnatchers, but with much more going on, as Rok of the Reds manages to take two completely opposing genres – sports and sci-fi – and merge them together into a gloriously enjoyable read that will keep you on the edge of your seat right up until the final whistle!
#4 Cognition Volume 1
A steam powered automaton inhabited by a human spirit and a demon stuck in the body of a rat may seem the unlikely heroes for a supernatural adventure but these are the wonderful stars of Ken Reynolds’ Cognition. As these two battle ghosts and other-worldly phenomenon with the help of the British Occult Secret Service, their world is brought to live by some truly stunning and ethereal visuals from artist Sam Bentley. With a dark and twisted sense of style and some superb dialogue and characters from Reynolds, this is a truly original series that will have you channelling the spirits yourself in hope of finding out more.
A female highwayman, a pirate queen and a clockwork cavalier. These are just some of the characters in Steve Tanner’s glorious 18th century anthology Flintlock. The mix of classic story telling that feels like it could come from a classic anthology, and stunning black and white art, (as well as a truly unique time period to set an action adventure comic), make Flintlock a really priceless of a read. With characters set to break out and get their own adventures soon, there has never been a better time to step back into the world of Flintlock!
#6 Gateway City
While this may appear to be your classic pulp adventure about a private eye on the trail of a group of prohibition-era booze smugglers, Russell Olson’s Gateway City is anything but just that. As well as being a reference to his native St Louis, Gateway City is a town where mobster and aliens overlap and when PI ‘Lundy’ Lundqvist digs deeper into the underworld he is literally sent into another dimension looking for answers. Olson has a brilliantly retro style to his artwork and his writing and this allows him to vreat wonderful genre mash up of classic crime noir and silver age sci-fi silliness. Be sure to check out his other work like Lady Hollyood and The Black Iris to see one of our favourite creators really start to grow.
Dan Butcher’s post modern superhero series started life as a fairly traditional Brit capes adventure in the vein of Excalibur or Captain Britain. But it has built and developed into one of the most exciting and visceral UK comics going. With 14 glorious issues to enjoy on Comichaus, you can see the story evolve and develop in explosive fashion as Butcher turns the world of Vanguard on it’s head and develop new darker, more satirical edge to his story telling – as well as making it much more gritty and violent. All this while his super stylish artwork becomes as confident as his story telling. Find out why this is one awesome read!
#8 The Last Sheriff
Chris Imber and Chris Jenkin’s sci-fi western started out as a simple one shot about a mythical space lawman, but has evolved into one of the most exciting all action series around. The Sheriff is the last of a group of elite lawman who is being hunted by a sinister government (including a six armed cyborg hitman), and so he rallies a group of misfits together to create a rebellion. It’s high octane, all action stuff brought to life by amazing artwork from Imber and Jenkins, and team. They channel the exuberance and action of 90s Wildstorm comics, and artists like Joe Madureira to bring us one of the most over the top, all action series around.
This modern day take on orcs and elves who inhabit a tea shop in Cardiff is the brainchild of the brilliant Sarah Milman (Heart of Time). Set in a version of the present where fantastical beasts are common place, Hannah is a wide eyed student who encounters a fiery spirit in her local tea shop. What follows is a glorious mix of millennial mischief and magic misadventures. However what really separates this story from the pack is Sarah’s glorious artwork and it’s sublime yellow, pink and blue colour scheme which makes it feel impeccably cool. With the final issue and a collected volume recently funded on Kickstarter grab yourself a cuppa and revisit this fantastic series.
#10 The Adventures of Captain Cosmic
Andy Clift’s homage to silver age science fiction is a glorious trip to the outer reaches of space via the bottom of a comic mart bargain bin. The titular Captain and his sidekick Kid Cosmic must face off against an array of gloriously named villains such as Kena The Collector, Globulous and The Phantom Spaceman. It’s delightfully daft and packed full of invention and charm, which is all brought to life by Clift’s glorious vintage inspired visuals that mix the clean line of Darwyen Cooke with a retro colour scheme and textured paper. With each issue getting increasingly more ambitious and adventurous this is truly a cosmic read!
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