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Moth City #2

Writing & art by Tim Gibson

This is the issue that came with the package. It continues right on from the first issue (but with a short recap at the beginning, which I always appreciate). Still good storytelling, but I was disappointed in the small amount of new ground covered. Quite a bit of the issue is devoted to an elaborate chase scene, like an Indiana Jones movie. There are a bunch of portentous text captions that didn't seem to add anything to the story. And even though this is the end of Season 01 not much is resolved at the end. I doubt I'll be buying the other six parts.

10. Sorcery 101 #1

 

Created by: Kel McDonald

 

This was a 20 page web comic about a sorcery student’s everyday life in a supernatural world.

 

This was the first of the Submit comics I’ve read that obviously started life as a web comic and had pages formatted to fit the screen rather than the standard comic layout.  While it seems like such a small thing, it drastically changes the reading experience.  On the plus side, the dialogue is significantly easier to read, negating the need for any zooming.  Meanwhile, the art orientation changes the flow of the comic and on the negative side, “half” pages gave me a new sense of story decompression, especially when reading a story that’s only 20 pages long.  I suspect it’s something a person would get used to, (and when you think about it, is essentially the reverse of what people used to comic strips went through when comic books initially embraced their format), nonetheless, being a fogey from my time, I prefer the format I’m more familiar with.

 

As for the plot of the comic, this story involved fantastic elements, but almost reduced them down to a slice of life story.  I could see it appealing to other people, but it’s not really my thing.

I praised that formatting choice in my Moth City reviews! I'm also very impressed with it in The Private Eye (the digital comic by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martín). Both of these are digital-first, but they're full length stories. They work much better than traditional comic book formatting on a tablet. I'd recommend trying the first issue of The Private Eye to see how well the format can work. It's "choose your price," so you can try it for free.

11. Tiger Lawyer #1

 

Written by: Ryan Ferrier

 

Attorney at Rawr

Art by: Matt McCray

 

Dead Cat Walking

Art by: Vic Malhotra

 

This comic was made up of two short stories, the first in colour, coming in at 8 pages and the second in black and white, coming in at 10 pages.

 

The format for this series seems to be for each issue to have a couple of short stories, each featuring the protagonist, Tiger Lawyer.  Apparently, the genre for the first story will vary and the second story will be a continuing noiresque feature.  This will allow lots of artists to be featured and additional pinups will allow for even more spotlights.

 

For this issue, the front story was a typical Matlock type drama, assuming typical involved saving the big reveals for the closing arguments, allowing the lawyer to make his case with absolutely no evidence, and oh yeah, involved a tiger in one of the roles.  The second story involved Tiger Lawyer uncovering corruption and running a sting. 

 

While it was interesting seeing the different art styles, especially all the different takes on Tiger Lawyer himself, the stories were... lacking.  I kind of get the impression we’re supposed to be so impressed with the outlandish premise that we don’t pay much mind to the plot, essentially revel in the absurdity.  Alas, a little too absurd for me.

I praised that formatting choice in my Moth City reviews! I'm also very impressed with it in The Private Eye (the digital comic by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martín). Both of these are digital-first, but they're full length stories. They work much better than traditional comic book formatting on a tablet. I'd recommend trying the first issue of The Private Eye to see how well the format can work. It's "choose your price," so you can try it for free.

Both Moth City and The Private Eye are on my to read list.  It might be a while before I get to them though.

12. The Sire #1

 

Written, Coloured, and Lettered by: Michael Dolce

 

Art by: Daniel Leister

 

This was a 22 page comic about a world where a man has found a mysterious costume that has turned him into his world’s first superhero, like it or not.

 

The comic read a bit like a deconstructed version of the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle, with some villainous echoes of the Fantastic Four thrown in.  The art carried the story well, having some awkward poses here and there, but overall looked pretty spiffy.  Much like the art, the writing was generally good, but did have some awkward phrases and situations that might have flowed a little better if done differently.  Overall, I thought this comic was a little rough around the edges, but had a solid core to grow out from.

I'm delighted you guys are doing this. I was invited to do reviews of "Submit" titles a year ago, and have never found time to read or review a single one. (They come in weekly batches of links, and there are a LOT of them.) Which has made me feel really guilty. This assuages my guilt somewhat, so thank you!

13. Tara Normal #1

 

Created by: Howie Noel

 

This 26 page comic is about the adventures of Tara Normal, ghost fighter, as she’s narrates her biggest case to date from her cosy room at the insane asylum.

 

A fun comic with a strong Chew feel, (the art and character irreverence drawing deeply from the same well).  Like Chew, I find the art style and subject matter an odd fit, but not necessarily a bad one; the style dials down the horrific while allowing us to have fun with the strange.  I think the dialogue could use some polishing, as a lot of exposition gets thrown at us, but overall, not a bad effort.  If you’re a fan of Ghost Busters, or again, enjoy the antics in Chew, this might be for you.

Y'all check the news section for breaking news about ComiXology.

14. First Law of Mad Science #1

 

Written by: Mike Isenberg and Oliver Mertz

 

Art by: Daniel Lapham and Jeff McComsey

 

This was a 26 page comic about a scientist who’s discovered that the robotic eye enhancements he created, (and the world embraced), are causing people to see visions that are driving them insane.

 

I really wanted to like the “First Law of Mad Science”, unfortunately I found this a bit of a disappointing read.  The idea is intriguing and the basic setup and foundation are solid, however, the craft really let this book down.  The characters seem to oscillate between confrontational / abrasive and wooden dialogue, the figure work often looks posed and faces appear to be a bit of a problem for the artists, and the story time jumps without much indication.  On the flip side, the environment is often very well rendered and one does get a feel that the creators have an interesting story to tell.  In the end, this reminded me of the “bonus books” DC used to include in some of their comics in the late 80's / early 90's, some potential, but not quite at the level I would hope for.

I've actually bought a trade paperback of Sorcery 101. It was a fun read, though I haven't looked around for more. I found the art style really inviting.

I've read the first few chapters of Moth City, too, on Thrillbent. After a while, I decided to put it off until I could read more all as a bunch. I liked what I read, but the art style was a little off-putting.

The only Submit book I've gotten around to reading on Comixology so far has been Boobage by Monica Gallagher, an autobiographical account of the protagonist coming to terms with her breast size. A decent read, and done in one. 

I read a couple of these this morning. Sorcery 101 was fun, and like Rob I liked the art pretty well. I wasn't sufficiently invested in the characters to want to read more, though. Boobage I really liked. The description reads: "An autobiographical tale about growing up with teeny, tiny boobs." So it's about breast obsession from a female perspective. I thought it was charming, and I liked Gallagher's art as well. It's a simple black and white drawing style, with brown tones. Reminded me a bit of Blankets.

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