Comic Review: Tinseltown

Published: April 19th, 2018 – January 10th, 2019
Written by: David Lucarelli
Art by: Henry Ponciano, HdE

Alterna Comics, 118 Pages

Review:

I’ve gotten way behind on comics and my Alterna stack has been piling up, as a few different series have come to an end over the last few months. I’ve been waiting to read this one since I got the first issue, almost a year ago, but I was waiting to get the entire story so that I could binge read it.

Tinseltown is one of the best books I’ve read from Alterna but the company produces so many good indie comics that this really is head and shoulders above a lot of the other stuff on the shelves.

The story is about a young woman living in Hollywood who has aspirations of becoming a cop in an era where women weren’t really accepted on the police force. She starts out as a security guard for a film studio but soon finds herself caught up in a noir-style mystery.

If you like cop stories, historical fiction, the golden age of Hollywood or film-noir, then there is certainly something here for you to enjoy. If you love all of those things, than this comic book is a real treat.

David Lucarelli wrote a very good story and the art by Henry Onciano did a fine job of capturing the style and tones of the era.

This was a fun read with a lot of energy and heart. I’m not sure if there is a future miniseries in the works or not but I liked this enough that I hope this isn’t the last we see of this character and her journey.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: other recent stuff from Alterna Comics.

Comic Review: Cyco KO!

Published: September 6th, 2018 – December 19th, 2018
Written by: Robert Feldman
Art by: Robert Feldman, Peter Simeti

Alterna Comics, 67 Pages

Review:

I’ve been picking up everything from Alterna Comics, as of late. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel about Cyco KO, as I’m not a big reader of humor comics but it still had some interesting character design and looked like something I’d probably find some enjoyment with.

Well, it was funnier than I expected. The tone and style of the humor is similar to old school Adult Swim programming before it got shitty.

Each issue is really its own story and you don’t have to read one to read the others but all three still work well as one body of work.

While this was a really fun comic, I feel like I just got my feet wet with the character and his universe. I hope that this spawns more miniseries or an ongoing title. Alterna seems to prefer doing limited runs, however.

This is a cool, exciting comic and if you like your stories humorous, bizarre and unique, than this is probably a comic book that you’ll want to pick up.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: Alterna’s other recent releases but especially the more humorous stuff like Mr. Crypt and Baron Rat.

Comic Review: The XII

Published: March 23rd, 2017 – November 9th, 2017
Written by: Patrick Trahey
Art by: Luis Suarez

Alterna Comics, 149 Pages

Review:

If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic comics, this will probably be right up your alley. In fact, it reminded me a lot of another Alterna Comics series, The Wicked Righteous. Both had a post-apocalyptic setting and a similar tone but this one was even a bit darker and had a good mystery built into it.

The story follows a father and his small family group, as they set off on a journey after being robbed. All along the way, we keep hearing about this legend of “The XII” or “the twelve” and how they are something to fear. The father dismisses this modern legend and keeps pushing forward.

This has a strong human element to it and it does get pretty emotional as the group is faced with immense adversity and tough challenges. Plus, the legend they fear does rear its ugly head.

I don’t want to spoil too much and it is better to read this without much info or plot details.

I liked the art style and the color palate, which was just black and white with orange hues. But this book looks beautiful on newsprint. The imagery is pretty striking.

Ultimately, this was an enjoyable read but it left me wanting more. I guess there is a sequel planned and there needs to be, as it ends in a way that feels more like a TV season cliffhanger than a definitive conclusion.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: other recent Alterna Comics releases but most notably, The Wicked Righteous.

Comic Review: Zero Jumper

Published: March, 2018 – October, 2018
Written by: Patrick Mulholland
Art by: Patrick Mulholland

Alterna Comics, 128 Pages

Review:

Alterna Comics has had such a great track record of late, that I have been buying up every series that I can complete. Sometimes things are sold out and I’m missing issues here and there or creators leave Alterna over some weird Internet drama and I don’t really want to finish their comics.

Luckily, Zero Jumper was current and I was able to get all the issues to finish it with my most recent Alterna order.

These covers have all been pretty captivating and I was glad to round all four issues up, as I didn’t want to start the series until I had all of it. I’m generally a binge reader with comics, as I read so many and don’t want to forget details between the months stretching from issue one to issue four.

Anyway, the art in this comic is stellar. It reminded me of anime from the era when I watched it: the mid-’80s through the ’90s. It feels very Evangelion-esque in its style. I absolutely love the colors and it goes to show how greatly newsprint can be utilized in boosting colors and contrast. I truly love the look of this book.

As far as the story, it was pretty decent but it didn’t completely grab me. This was very action heavy overall, so there wasn’t as much narrative as the story might have needed. This is only a minor complaint though, as the series moved by pretty briskly and got to where it needed to go. I just didn’t feel as invested in the mission at hand, as I would’ve liked.

But this is still a solid effort, as Patrick Mulholland grows in his craft. Being that he wrote this and did the art, he was pulling double duty.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: other recent Alterna Comics releases.

Comic Review: The Wicked Righteous

Published: January 12th, 2017 – July 19th. 2018
Written by: Terry Mayo
Art by: Chris Hall, Lucas Romero, Brandon DeStefano

Alterna Comics, 158 Pages

Review:

As I read more and more Alterna Comics releases from the past year or so, I find myself more and more impressed.

The Wicked Righteous is a damn fine comic book series and I’m glad that it is getting a follow up series next year, as well as having short stories sprinkled in to issues of It Came Out On A Wednesday.

I didn’t get around to reading this title until now, as I was waiting for the last few issues to come in from my latest Alterna order.

But, man… I am really glad that I completed this series because it was one of the best reads I’ve had in the last few months.

Being that this is six issues, it is a longer story than most of Alterna’s miniseries. Most seem to float around 3 to 4 issues. That being said, this doesn’t seem rushed due to space. It’s well paced and surprisingly, a lot happens and this has many layers to its plot.

This story arc primarily sets up the world that the characters live in. It does that very well and opens up multiple avenues for the future. I have no idea where this could go but out of post-apocalyptic comics, I enjoyed this more than most and have a lot of hope for the future of this property. Realistically, it could be spun off into multiple directions.

We get good heroes, a good villain or two for the future and a whole world to explore that has been established quite nicely.

Terry Mayo wrote a damn good comic and the art is top notch. This looks better than most indie comics today and if I’m being frank, it looks better than most of the comics put out by larger publishers.

Rating: 9/10
Pairs well with: other recent Alterna Comics releases.

Comic Review: Scrimshaw

Published: October 5th, 2016 – August 2nd, 2018
Written by: Eric Borden
Art by: Dave Mims, Spike O’Laochdha

Alterna Comics, 158 Pages

Review:

Scrimshaw was one of the more recent Alterna Comics titles that I really wanted to delve into. I loved the covers I was seeing, as well as the art style.

I was pretty happy with it overall but I did have a few issues with it too.

To start, I enjoyed the story but it was a bit hard to follow sometimes. I felt the general narrative was clear but some of the details felt vague and I didn’t understand a lot of the decisions and character motivations as well as I should have.

Also, I really love the art style. However, around issues two and three, some of it felt muddled and hard to see. I’m not sure if that may have been a printing issue though. I work in graphic design and printing, so I tried to see it objectively and don’t want to take points away from Dave Mims cool art.

The main issue with it, was that a lot of the ink lines are thin and then with the use of a lot of gradients, the lines seemed to get lost in darker panels. It was just hard on the eyes when I was trying to make out detail. But from issues four through six, this was not a problem.

I love that this story is almost like a classic swashbuckling tale but set in an apocalyptic future. It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean meets Waterworld but not in a terrible sucky way. And the tone feels more like a Mad Max film and a post-apocalyptic anime.

I do like the characters but I think there needs to be some time to flesh them out better in the future. A lot of characters are introduced in short time, so no one really gets the attention they deserve. This could be a great team book, but we need to know what it is we love about these characters.

I certainly do look forward to future Scrimshaw releases and I want to give the series time to breathe and develop. It’s a much larger story than the typical Alterna release, so this does require more world building than something like Mother Russia or Trespasser.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: other Alterna releases over the last few years.

Comic Review: Doppelgänger

Published: March 2nd, 2017 – September 7th, 2017
Written by: Jordan Hart
Art by: Emmanuel Xerx Javier

Alterna Comics, 94 Pages

Review:

Peter Simeti might be a genius. The reason I say that is because everything I have read from Alterna Comics has been top notch storytelling and just damn good. I’m always glad to support them and, at this point, I try to stay up on all their new releases and buy them all, as they come out.

Simeti is just really good at going through the countless submissions he gets from aspiring comic book creators and finding the stuff that is top notch.

Doppelgänger is no different. And I shouldn’t be surprised at how much I enjoyed this but when a company has so many solid releases in a vast array of genres and styles, it’s impressive and it just keeps my passion for this medium alive and strong.

It’s hard talking about the plot, as I don’t want to spoil it but it is about a man who has a doppelgänger come into his life. The doppelgänger’s purpose is to take over his life and replace him, as he is scheduled to die within a few days.

The plot is well crafted, the characters are all lovable, except for the evil doppelgänger, and I really like the art in this. And like other Alterna books, this really benefits from being on newsprint. The colors truly pop in a great way.

These four issues were a quick read but I also couldn’t put them down. Usually, I will read an issue, take a break, come back for the next, and so on. As I read Doppelgänger, I just wanted to keep going and soak it all in, in a single sitting.

Jordan Hart wrote something really good and based off of how this ended, I hope there is eventually a follow up.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: other Alterna Comics horror and adult titles.