Updated: Jun 24, 2021
Story & Characters: B.J. Mendelson Art & Letters: Piotr Czaplarski Publisher: Self-Published
Because this is only a single issue, and not the trade paperback length I typically review, details are minimal. Especially as an introduction to a greater story arc, it’s difficult to judge the story overall.
WHAT IS IT?
The first issue from a budding, independent comics duo in which we meet a woman, a weapon and the wheels of a story set in motion.
Its Comixology page describes it as “… a wild, superhero-horror adventure set in the American West.”
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A story about supernatural possession, a flaming sword fused with a person’s soul, a lost love and a seemingly super-powered team who wants to save their friend from the powers possessing her.
The dialogue feels natural and conversational while keeping the plot moving – feels very influenced by Bendis (see image below)
A LOT is crammed into 27 pages, so you get your $3 worth
Czaplarski’s art is good with scenery, buildings; good balance between traditional panels and splashes
The lettering is well-placed and well-shaped and, while I’m uncertain on the color decisions for the dialogue, I also feel each colored bubble helps personalize its corresponding character
Pages that have color help bring clarity and life to busy panels
It’s easily, digitally available from Comixology!
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
As with the other comics reviewed this week, celebrating lesser known comics creators, it’s difficult and unfair to compare this comic to those of established professionals in the industry
This is an independent, self-published work created by people who can’t draw from a wealth of comics experience, so it may come off as less polished as the other titles I post about here
With characters we don’t know, lots of action and dialogue, and no color throughout most of the issue, it can be difficult to decipher what’s going on and who’s who
I don’t know if future issues will be only partially colored, like this issue, or if the plan is to go back and color the rest of this issue
The artist’s depictions of people aren’t on the same level as his landscapes and backgrounds – I think a more seasoned artist could elevate this title
With only a single issue available, it’s hard to tell if the juice is worth the squeeze on this one, and at $3, it’s only a dollar cheaper than options from major publishers
The artist isn’t credited on the cover
WHY SHOULD YOU READ IT?
If you’re interested in self-published comics, want to support budding creators, or are just curious, read it. If you’re looking for more colorful, polished works by folks who have been in the industry awhile, you may want to skip it and check out some of my other blogs and recommendations.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
A National Story of Minor Significance, Part 1 by B.J. Mendelson & Piotr Czaplarski
Powers, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming
If you like the art:
A National Story of Minor Significance, Part 2 by B.J. Mendelson & Piotr Czaplarski
Invincible, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley & Cory Walker
ABOUT THE CREATORS
B.J. Mendelson – Writer & Creator
New Face: This is his first comic for sale on Comixology
Has worked with Czaplarski on his other webcomics, mentioned above
Has made several appearances and even written a book on the ineffectiveness of social media on marketing and society as a whole
Piotr Czaplarski – Art, Letters (and Colors?)
New Face: This is one of his first forays into art for official comic books rather than fan art
Has also done illustrations for some of Mendelson’s other webcomics, as well as for books by various authors
HOW DO I BUY IT?
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All B.J. Mendelson characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright B. J. Mendelson or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.