Let's get this out of the way: I'm not going to talk about the big blue penis in the room - there's no Doomsday Clock talk in this installment. Yes, it's out today! But I'm sure that by now, there are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of competent (and incompetent) folks posting their opinions out there. What's my little old voice in a chorus like that? Instead, I'm going to keep bringing you what I do - other series' you might have missed, in a busy week like this one. And man, is it busy! It's the day before Thanksgiving so get out there, eat lots of food (if it's your jam, do so with family and friends!) and when you go out to hit all the Black Friday sales, consider snagging some of these issues!
The Apocalypse Girl #1, Amigo Comics
Most common teenage issues are self-esteem, stress and pressure, dating, appearance and those worries and teen angst that won't go away. Metis is 16, has all these problems and more. Because, on top of that, the End of the World happened and she has to cope with bloodthirsty demons and a 4,000-years old, critical, undead mom!
Apocalypse Girl is...by no means a perfect book. There are some places in this where the dialogue is clunky or awkward, and it's noticeable. Plus, as I've said many times before here, post-apocalyptic books are done to death, in my opinion -- no pun intended. However there's just something a little different about Apocalypse Girl that I can't put my finger on. In this story, the Apocalypse is well underway, with Lovecraftian type demons engaged in full-on war with the angels; glowing, dark skinned beautiful creatures with white hair and eyes. There are survivors, some like our heroine Metis, just looking for a way to live; and others turning into demons themselves. Metis meets some other young folks, they save a fallen angel, and then rock out to records in a secret hideout, before a voice constantly heard in Metis's head summons her back to their home, what appears to be the Louvre, but in ruins. Turns out Metis's mother wonders why she stayed out late - and mummy dearest is a literal mummy. The art in this book is good but not great, and as I mentioned before, the writing is also middle of the road. But there's just something about the actual imagery evoked - the designs of the angels in particular; mummies and demons and teenagers. None of it works together, and maybe that's why it fascinates me so much? I also wonder if Metis in greek mythology will come into play, given the mummy angle...but that also doesn't make sense? This book is perplexing but despite that, I found it a quick and enjoyable light read.
Imaginary Fiends #1 , Vertigo Comics
"Polly Peachpit." Those were the words ten-year-old Brinke Calle said when she was found covered in her own blood by the woods in rural Cannon Falls, MN. Her best friend, Melba, had just attempted to murder her because a spider girl named Polly Peachpit told her to.
Since that day, Melba has spent seven years in a mental health facility. Tomorrow is her eighteenth birthday. Tomorrow, she'll be transferred to a federal prison. Tomorrow, her real sentence will begin.
That is, until she receives a visit from FBI Agent Virgil Crockett. Crockett explains that there is another world beyond ours, where hungry spectral aliens stalk the minds of the impressionable and weak. These things, called IMPs (Interdimensional Mental Parasites) feed on compliance. They convince hosts to do things for them, and the more they feed, the stronger they become. More IMPs stream into the world each day, invisible to everyone but his or her hosts.
After years of drugs and counseling, Polly and Melba have developed a unique relationship-and to Crockett, this relationship represents something her people can work with. In exchange for release from prison, Crockett asks Melba (and Polly) to serve as IMP hunters. For Melba, it's a chance to prove that she's innocent, convinced to murder by a monster...a monster she must now unleash.
Honestly the solicit here summarizes the plot of the first issue pretty well, and there's not a lot I can add to this, except to say I liked it. I can imagine being wary; it's a Vertigo book in a time when Vertigo titles are very hit of miss; and that's especially true of their horror stuff. It reminded me a little of Survivor's Club, which was a series I felt SHOULD have checked off a bunch of boxes for me, as a horror fan (check out more about it here). But where Survivor's Club for me felt like it didn't have a strong focus or sense of direction, I feel like there's an actual story to tell here. I may actually consider adding this series to my pull, if it's still holding my attention after a few issues. An interesting pick for horror fans.
Long Lost #1, Scout Comics
Stranger Things meets Ghost World in Long Lost, the haunting story of two estranged sisters who find themselves drawn back to their small southern hometown to unlock the disturbing mysteries that are hidden there, with all roads leading back to their enigmatic, secretive mother. Join Scout Comics as they proudly debut this compelling, harrowing journey through family relationships, childhood trauma, and southern gothic horror.
The first issue of Long Lost is a surreal, dreamy trip in black and white. We're introduced to sisters Frances and Piper, as they meet up for the first time in....probably a long time. We spend most of the issue with Piper, who seems like the more mature sister, living alone with her dog Pockets. She seems serious and contemplative, if lonely. Our introduction to Frances shows us a younger (or at least more immature) woman, who loves to talk, and maybe doesn't always have a great skill at reading situations. In between these moments of establishment, there are eerie scenes, possibly memories, filled with unsettling imagery. The pacing of the book is slow, but not in a boring way, more like building pressure and tension. The settings in this book are well done; in my head I can almost hear the quiet crickets, whishing of bicycle tires, humming of electronics at night, and this is all captured in a minimal, but effective, way. There is only one color, outside of black/white/grey, used in the book, and it's used to punctuate some.....thing....that's equally gross and strange. The artist's style is both cute and, when necessary, very creepy. I feel like this comic might slide under the radar for some folks, but I think it's definitely worth giving a read.
Void Trip #1, Image Comics
This is the story of the story of Ana and Gabe, the last two humans left alive in the galaxy. They're low on fuel, they're low on food, and they're low on psychedelic space froot, but they're still determined to make it to the promised land: hippy-paradise, super-planet Euphoria. This is the story of their journey, the friends and enemies they made along the way, and how the universe responded to those who dared to live freely within it.
Of the comics I've reviewed here, this was probably my least favorite. It wasn't bad, by any means; in fact, it was my coworker's favorite. But it just wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe I'm of the wrong generation but hippies roaming the galaxy getting high and stealing to get by just isn't as compelling of a story for me. Ana and Gabe are interesting characters, with Ana being the more predictable loose cannon type. I thought it was an interesting character design choice to make her look more like a west coast instagram model than the type of woman who'd steal gas from your truck and then lie to your face about it. Gabe has a bit more of a moral compass and linear train of thought. He's often subject to Ana's whims. Both are being hunted down, though, and whoever is searching for them has no hesitation to kill anything in his way. The art in this book is really good, although at first I didn't like it (and there are still a handful of panels that really bother me, for reasons I can't quite put a finger on. If you've got a wanderlust for the final frontier and are looking to collect on that sweet sweet space bounty, Void Trip might be for you.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Now go take a nap!