Comic Review: Punchline: Blood Sisters

Published: August 14th, 2019
Written by: Bill Williams
Art by: Brian Denham, Matthew Weldon, Tiago Barsa, Neeraj Menon

Antarctic Press, 124 Pages

Review:

This was a comic book that I backed on Indiegogo last year. I was mainly looking forward to it because the price wasn’t too high and the art looked fantastic just from the sample images I saw.

I was glad to finally get it, even though I was able to read the first issue collected in this trade paperback, as it was released back in May for Free Comic Book Day.

For the most part, I was pretty happy with Punchline. I’ll probably end up checking out whatever follows this story arc.

Ultimately though, this is the intro to what I’m assuming is an ongoing series or at least a comic with future miniseries or trades. That being said, a lot happens in this but because of that, the plot progression feels rushed at times.

Some things happen too fast without a proper build or added context. The teen girl who becomes a superhero seems way too eager and quick to jump into this lifestyle, especially after she has reservations over just about everything that happens once she gets her powers.

Her reservations are legitimate, as the plot moves along but I feel like she was quickly thrown into the role to get the story moving. I feel like we should’ve known more about her, her drive, her motivation, her backstory, etc. We learn about her brother’s death and it becomes an integral plot point but when it comes up, it’s just sort of thrown into the mix. But it’s hard to emotionally connect to what the hero is going through because it seemed like a random curveball.

Still, this was a good read. I especially loved the art and the character design. I’d like to see how this world develops over time.

Being that this is the first arc, it is a decent start to a series but it just needs a bit more fine tuning in regards to pacing and when and how to reveal specific plot details.

Rating: 6.5/10
Pairs well with: other recent female-led crowdfunded comics I’ve read like Blue Mamba and Flying Sparks.

Comic Review: Barack Panther: Barack In Black – One-Shot

Published: April 24th, 2019
Written by: Kelsey Shannon
Art by: Kelsey Shannon

Antarctic Press, 22 Pages

Review:

I’m not a big fan of political parody or satire. It’s usually predictable, the jokes are overused and it’s never that funny. Well, at least not in the last decade or two. Old school Saturday Night Live was pretty great when they still had the balls to poke fun at both sides. Also, South Park does a pretty good job as they shit on everyone and everything.

I am a fan of Kelsey Shannon though, so I figured I’d give this a shot. I mean, he wrote the story and did the art and I typically find the guy to be a lot of fun and his art is usually pretty damn solid. Also, you should check out his YouTube channel, as well as The Jack Show, which also features Jon Malin, Cecil Says and Anna a.k.a. That Star Wars Girl.

Now while I haven’t read any of the previous Barack Panther comics, it’s not hard to get the concept and to just pick this up and enjoy it without having had to read the other comics.

This one has a Men In Black twist to it, as Obama and Biden team up, as special agents, to fight an extraterrestrial threat. Surprisingly, but not really, Joe Biden is revealed to be an alien. I guess that explains a lot.

Anyway, while this isn’t typically my cup of tea, I was amused by it and more than anything else, enjoyed Shannon’s art.

Rating: 6/10
Pairs well with: I guess other Barack Panther comics.

Comic Review: Jungle Comics, Issue #1

Published: May, 2019
Written by: Chuck Dixon
Art by: Kelsey Shannon

Antarctic Press, 32 Pages

Review:

I backed this on Indiegogo awhile ago but I guess I could’ve just bought it off of the shelf before it actually shipped to me. But that seems to be the case with most crowdfunded projects that get picked up by Antarctic Press.

Still, this was pretty inexpensive and I was pretty happy with the end result once I got this in my hands.

I’ve been reading comics by Chuck Dixon since the ’80s and the guy wrote one of my favorite runs on G.I. Joe, so I’ll support most of the projects he’s involved in.

Plus, I’ve really come to enjoy the art of Kelsey Shannon. When the dude is on his A game, he’s one of the top guys working today. In fact, I’m surprised more people aren’t scooping him up. Unless they are and future projects haven’t been announced yet.

This comic is like a time machine though. It takes the reader back to an era where jungle comics were actually a thing in pop culture. It was a popular genre back when Tarzan was a popular fictional character in the mainstream.

This does feel like a more modern take on the genre and the second story in the comic has a sci-fi twist to it. But it still captures the spirit of the pulp stories from over a half century ago.

If future issues come out, I’ll probably give them a shot. This is listed, officially, as part 1 of 4, so I guess we’ll see.

Although, I don’t know if Dixon and Shannon are involved going forward.

Rating: 6.5/10
Pairs well with: I guess future releases of Jungle Comics by Antarctic Press.

Comic Review: Rags, Issues #0 – #2

Published: 2018
Written by: Brian Ball, Trent Luther
Art by: Luigi Terguel, Capucine Drapala

Antarctic Press, 60 Pages

Review:

I have supported a lot of the recent crowd funding comic book projects that have been coming out. Especially, the Comicsgate titles that have been popping up on Indiegogo. This isn’t one of those Indiegogo comics or specifically a Comicsgate title. This one was put out after raising money through Patreon. However, the creators have also been supported by the Comicsgate community, a community that is always looking for something new in the medium. While the people behind Rags don’t directly associate with Comicsgate, they have had success because of it.

Usually, I wouldn’t review something with less than a handful of issues but as this crowdfunded indie stuff is about to start arriving in people’s mailboxes, I wanted to get a jump start on this massive wave and throw a light on the Rags team, who have already put out two full length issues and a shorter prologue.

Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough of a story to really sink your teeth into and to get a feel as to where this is going. That being said, I still really enjoy the first three chapters in this ongoing series.

In a lot of ways, at least right now in the earliest stages, Rags has a very similar feel to The Walking Dead. However, it’s not a blatant ripoff of that and frankly, The Walking Dead isn’t wholly original anyway. Both of these are zombie stories. People love zombie stories. While I think they’ve been done to death, I’m still on board if the story is there and it isn’t just zombies for the sake of zombies.

Rags has an interesting protagonist, assuming she’s a protagonist, we still don’t know her well enough yet. She is an ex-Marine but she is also a headcase. She has lived through some fucked up shit before the zombie apocalypse and her current situation is triggering a lot of those old memories and feelings. Plus, she sees someone she loves eaten in front of her.

When we meet her, she’s running around town butt naked. This is an adult comic due to the boobies and other jiggly bits but they do offer a censored version too.

If I were to compare this to The Walking Dead, sorry, it’s hard not to, I prefer this series from a visual standpoint. Not because of the boobies, but they are a nice touch, but I like the art style, the coloring and it’s livelier than those simple black and white issues Robert Kirkman pumps out every month.

Tonally, this reminds me more of George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead, as opposed to The Walking Dead. I’m a massive fan of that movie and not just because it was filmed in my area. But because of that, I can’t not be drawn to it.

I hope that more issues come out pretty regularly because I’ll support them. So far, I’m happy with the series and am genuinely interested with where this could go and what will make it unique and able to stand out from all the other zombie properties in the market.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: The Walking Dead and hopefully, future issues of Rags.