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23 June 2008

HeroesCon 2008 Loot.

I didn't have the time or money to do a lot of shopping at HeroesCon but here is a quick look at the minicomics I picked up. (In no particular order other than randomly pulling them out of my bag.)

Abominable and Zombie Trouble by Pat Lewis.

These two minis are fantastic. They are comedy horror stories that use fairly traditional scenarios but are executed in a very original way. Everything about these comics works. The drawing, the lettering, the pacing, the writing... all of it.

Female characters take the lead in these stories and pull no punches against the poor monsters that are dumb enough to threaten them. Lewis' writing is very clever. Just when you think you've seen this horror story before he pulls a fast one on you and leaves you laughing. The dialog is very sharp and the site gags are hilarious.

If I'm not mistaken, these stories are a part of Lewis's new book from IDW The Claws Come Out. From what I saw of the book it looked great and I can't wait to get a copy.

I'm a big fan of Duane's pocket sized minis. In this one his angry little bandit character just wants some dinner but has to deal with a haunted meatloaf that wants to swallow his soul. Like they do... The oddball story has some good laughs but I would enjoy of book of Duane's characters doing just about anything. I really like the look and feel of his character's designs and the world he builds around them. WAP minicomcs are always well produced and pleasure to own.

A bunch of minis from Brien Wayne Powell.
If you are not familiar with Powell's Magnet Man series then you should be. I first met Powell years ago at a HeroesCon and every time I see him he has a new handful of pocket sized minis and they always make me laugh. He's made more than a hundred of the things. For those that have not seen his stuff, Powell makes his minis in a very minimal style. The jokes are usually in the dialog and not the action. The characters don't do a lot but that's half the humor of it. This year's batch includes Magnet Man Minicomics Special #6, Moments of Madness #154, Magnet Mansion Convention Special '08, The Super Cool Cowman's Spectacular Convention Special '08 and Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant vs. Werewolfman. Special #6 is probably the funniest of the bunch but I like the Boogie Woogie man book because I was a fan when I was a kid and I used to live near his 'rasslin' camp in Shawsville, VA.

Bird-Doggin' and Squirrel by Brad McGinty.

I've been a fan of Brad's comics for a pretty long time and you would think that I would have seen all the tricks in his bag by now but he continues to surprise. Bird-Doggin' is a collection of girlie pin-ups. I expected the drawings to be great but I honestly expected the standard pin-up collection where there is not a lot of difference from each page other than changes of clothing or background. Instead, Brad really mixes it up and shows a lot of versatility.
I expected to see a few homages to different pin-up styles but Brad demonstrates several styles and techniques including a few tricks I've never seen from him before. I think I've read every comic Brad has made but there are honestly a few pages here that if you had told me he drew them before I saw the book I would think you were lying. The work ranges from cute to sexy to psychedelic to scary to disturbing and to beautiful and even has a really nice color section. It's really good looking minicomic and if you are a fan of pin-up art you don't want to miss it. My wife looked at it and said "Brad's going to get rich someday."

Squirrel is a very different kind of mini about a Squirrel who wins a car wash from a car wash ghost but really just wants his nuts to be shiny. As odd as that last sentence was it does nothing to prepare you for how crazy this book is. The title page says that this one was drawn during a slow shift at work. Brad has made several of these little stream-of-consciousness anything goes crazy little humor comics and I love them all. (Powdered Cat still holding the title belt as the funnies thing I've ever read.) Brad would tell you that these comics are rush jobs but they are amazingly effective. Brad honestly told me that this was a comic he made and then forgot all about. I don't' know if it's because Brad has made so many comics at this point or if he just stole more than his share of talent but if everyone's best comics could be as good as Brad's rush jobs it would be a better world.d I've watched brad knock out pages, panels and sketches of amazing quality at amazing speeds in person and I can testify that yes, Brad McGinty can make a comic this good faster than I can make a bed. This comic is so funny it made my wife laugh. That's freaking funny.

The Deadbeat 1, 2 and 2.75 by Jeremy Massie.
This post is going to make it sound like I love every minicomc I see but these Deadbeat comics are also fantastic. I'm really blown away by Massie's work in these things. The art, the tones, the lettering etc. Very professional. Very polished. Very alive and full of motion. The story is a super-hero noir about an overweight washed-up drunk super hero but what really drives the thing is the characters. Each character has their own voice and identity is interesting to watch regardless of the situation.
Massie plays around with a lot of super-hero conventions in the books but he puts a neat spin on things. The dialog and the way the characters react to these conventions is both funny and real. If Massie were only the writer or only the artist on these books I would be impressed but he pulls it all off. I could see this work appealing to a very large audience.

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith
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