Our latest small press spotlight sees us take a look at: Adrift the new book from Bald’s John Tucker; Mixtape an anthology of short stories from Irish writer Gary Moloney; and the fourth and final instalment of Good Comics’ Dead Singers Society anthology.
Adrift by John Tucker
As big fans of his book Bald, we were really pleased to get sent a copy of John Tuckers latest mini comic Adrift as part of our pre-Thought Bubble round-up. Set in a world where gravity has stopped working it’s another quirky story that looks back at a situation and how it has come to be. Told with text on one page and a full page image on the other its basically a way for Tucker’s wild and crazy imagination to explore this crazy concept he’s created. It’s a simple and effective premise and the effects of no gravity range from cheeky criminals and people having fun, to copulating pensioners. It’s one of those books which you don’t have to think too much about and if you over analyse the plot it doesn’t really make any sense, but that doesn’t really matter as it is the mix of weird scenarios and strong quirky visuals that are what makes the book so enjoyable. Another great showcase of one of our favourite small press talents.
Mixtape by Gary Moloney
Collecting together half a dozen stories from writer Gary Moloney, this is a really great showcase for the diversity of his work as well as a fun read at the same time. Stand outs include: Weapons of Mech Destruction which features awesome Mechs duking it out in the sea; The Interview which features a job interview with the devil; Fist of the Orc Star which features a human in a monstrous fight school; and Wishing you Were Here, which is another slice of gritty dystopian sci fi. With each story featuring a different artist, as well as a different genre it means the stories leap from style to style, which on the plus side means it is packed full of different types of story and so should appeal to the maximum number of people possible. However, also feels a bit disjointed at times, especially when it leaps from superpower mechs in the opener, to a cartoonish super villain court room in Lex Iniusta. Overall though it’s a very polished collection and another fantastic showcase for the blossoming Irish comics scene.
Find out more about Mixtape at https://t.co/aeiOsI2nex
Dead Singers Society 4 by Good Comics
The fourth and final instalment of Good Comics’ signature anthology sees more small press creators pay tribute to an eclectic and diverse line up of musicians who are no longer with us. The stories range from personal reminisces like Mohar Kalra’s tribute to Dolores O’Riordan or David Robertson’s look at Associates singer Billy McKenzie, through to more quirky retrospectives like John Tucker’s look at the antics of GG Allin. The stories range from simple one pagers like to Toim Sable’s stunning homage to Dusty Springfield or Tim Bird’s simple but effective tribute to Dolores O’Riordan, through to more substantial pieces such as Rob Marland’s tribute to Easy E or Mike West and John Slater’s ode to Robert Johnson. There is even a short essay from Rob Gordon about Chester Bennington and Paddy Johnston discussing the legacy of Chris Cornell. It’s this fantastic range of stories and styles that make Dead Singers such a compelling read. The old adage that there should be something for everyone in an anthology really applies here, however with the common thread of late musicians bringing it together, it helps make it into a really satisfying whole. This means you can happily read it all the way through without having to focus on which creators work you do and don’t like. Plus, the diverse range of musicians also means that it is an educational and informative read and you definitely come away from it feeling like you have learnt something along the way – if only because you need to Google who some of them are! If this is indeed set to be the final ever issue then it is a fitting send off to this fantastic series.