Did you know about Comixology, where you can buy comics digitally for semi-reasonable prices? Did you know they have 40+ pages of free comics? Did you know I’m out of review material and looking for something I can knock out quickly without spending any money?
How this is going to work is that I’ll give each comic a very short description, basic likes and dislikes, then a thumbs up or down. I will then use these quick off the cuff ratings to unfairly judge the entire medium. Some of the comics are full first issues, others are just previews. I’ll provide links so you (yes, YOU) can read along at home. Let’s jump into it!
Battle Hymn #1: Old-timey world war 2 superheroes, all of whom are blatant rip-offs of more popular characters (EXCEPT THEY’RE ASSHOLES LOL). I guess someone really liked Watchmen and decided to do that, only….. pretty much exactly the same actually, apart from the WWII setting. There’s a lot of clumsy meta-humour and “clever” fourth wall breaking (THEY WERE ACTUALLY READING A COMIC LOL). Action scenes are choppy and stiff. The only thing more baffling than why anyone wanted to make this is why anyone would want to read it. Thumbs down
Transhuman #1: Genetic manipulation and stuff. Shady corporations. I’m not entirely sure since I skimmed this one because there are too many fucking words on every page, in a tiny almost-illegible font. Write a comic or a novel but don’t try to do both. Whoever did the penciling on this thing cannot draw a human head to save their life. Every single colour is a shade of feces-brown or piss-yellow. None of the characters are in any way interesting or likable. Literally the entire thing is a massive infodump leading up to “and then some toss-pots screwed each other over for money”. Could have been interesting, execution is handled poorly. Thumbs down
Korgi #1 (preview): Corgis 😀 Drawn in an illustrative pen and ink style, although the artist doesn’t seem to have quite the level of technical skill to pull it off. Cross-hatching tends to blend together into a big ol’ block of shading. Still looks pretty, though. And there’s an entire town full of Corgis. I cannot stress this fact enough. One of them goes on adventures with a little elf(?) girl. It’s for kids, but seems pleasant enough. And it has corgis in it. Thumbs up (because of corgis)
The Playwright (preview): Lonely middle aged dude stares at women in an extremely creepy way and laments the fact that he’s never had sex. Thumbs down
The Manhattan Projects #1: Continues the trend from Transhuman of having an attractively designed cover paired with god-awful artwork. The Manhattan Project was actually a front for creating
atomic super men stuff, none of which is terribly interesting. Although Albert Einstein is locked in a room with a big stone monolith thing. It’s sort of the like the SCP Foundation, I guess. The general in charge of the project has a hand grenade attached to his lapel for some reason, along with a billion Rob Liefeld pouches. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a parody or if the artist has just never seen a soldier before. The general is gruff and stern and Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer is in this as well) is a super genius because all scientists are super geniuses who know everything about everything. Did I mention the artwork is bad? Everyone looks like they’re melting. A giant torii gate crashes through the ceiling and the general dude says “A red torii. No doubt zen-powered by death buddhists”. I stopped reading after that so I don’t know how it ends. Zen powered by Death Buddhists
Raising Amy preview: A sociopathic young girl gets up to waaaacky shenanigans. It’s sort of like Calvin and Hobbes except without the good art, well written dialogue, humour, imagination, creativity, interesting and varied characters, intelligence, Thumbs down
Book of Lilah preview: A dude runs into a college student named Lilah and drops a magic book (get it?), which she then picks up and takes home. It turns her into a super genius and gives her access to a secret magic library. Or something. Everything happens so fast I couldn’t really tell what was going on. The artwork is muddy and poorly coloured. Thumbs down
The Underwater Welder preview: A haggard looking guy who has ｕｎｅｘｐｌａｉｎｅｄ ｔｒａｕｍａ works as a welder on an oil rig. He’s about to leave his wife for two weeks to go on a job a month before the birth of their first child. That’s all that happens during the preview pages. It actually seems quite interesting- the implication is that something freaky has happened/will happen to the main character underwater- but it’s too hard to tell just from these pages. The artwork is terrible though, all scratchy inked lines spattered with grey watercolours. Character’s eyes often float around their face with no apparent grounding in anatomy. I really don’t get why this sort of art is the go-to style for “literary” comics. Thumb sort of hovering noncommittally in the middle somewhere
Twokinds preview: Infamously terrible furry webcomic turned real-person comic. Generic animu dude wakes up in a generic animu forest with Amneeeeeeeessssiiiaaaa then saves a generic animu cat-girl from having her head cut off. It turns out that he is the Grant Templar, whatever the fuck that is. There’s some other bullshit about other more different furries who are evil, or something. I don’t really care. Then the furry girl takes her top off so all the fans can wank over her. The artwork is as basic as you can get while still being legible and it blows my mind that someone would work in a medium allowing literally unlimited creative freedom and voluntarily make something this generic and derivative. This comic will make you stupider by reading it. Thumbs down
Post-game analysis: So that’s seven dislikes, one “I can’t make up my mind if I want to read more of this” and one only partially serious like. That’s…. honestly way worse than I thought this was going to turn out.
Now to be fair a lot of these are just five to seven page previews and I grabbed this batch pretty much at random. You could also assume that the comics chosen to be given away for free might not represent the cream of the crop, although The Underwater Welder at least is by an acclaimed writer and has apparently been highly anticipated so maybe not.
Anyway, I’m going to do a few more batches of these so we’ll see how the tally comes out at the end.