Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: SPACE Anthology 2014

The SPACE Anthology is a collection of comics from small-press/independent comic creators that I contribute to each year before the SPACE Convention in Columbus, Ohio.  I’m going to take some time now to discuss the contributions in the 2014 SPACE Anthology.

First up we have Jack Hammer: Hardboiled Hare, an anthropomorphic animal take on noir-style detective stories. The story by Tim Fuller is called “In Cold Milk” and it features our main character, a private detective rabbit, solving a case of a cereal killer.  The strip is full of jokes about killing and cereal, and the art is very slick.  I don’t want to give away all the jokes here, but they are quite funny.

Next we have Faerie Tale by Brian John Mitchell.  John tells the story of a trapped faerie in two pages with no concrete images.  However, it’s easy to tell what is going on and I really like this different type of tale for a project like the SPACE Anthology.  It breaks things up from the cartoony pages filling the rest of the book.
Third we have Bruce Warden’s Turducken.  This is a one-page gag about a Turducken (which is a word I’m surprised that MS Word recognizes) seeking therapy to understand the separate aspects of his being.  This is another very good strip! Very nice idea!

Next is an Incrediman adventure by Jared Catherine called “Incredimutt”. In this installment, Super-hero Incrediman deals with having his name being used to endorse all kinds of junk, including an incredibly lame Incredimutt cartoon. Then he fights Ninja Babies!  This story isn’t as slick artistically as the previous strips, but the style works great for this story, which is clever in its extremism and ridiculousness.

“Don’t Wake the Ape” by Jason Pauff is a strip about a Tarzan-type jungle warrior charged with bringing fruit to a sleeping ape.  It’s simple but clever.  This one may not seem like much for the first few pages, but the payoff at the end is worth it and I didn’t see it coming!

“3 Days of Hell” by Lee Smith is next.  The Ohio Chronicles creator tells a true story of race riots in Cincinnati in 1841.  Smith’s comics are very nice educational tales of important Ohio history, and I enjoy reading them and have learned something new from each one I’ve read. “3 Days of Hell” is gripping in the way it recounts some dark history of battles between free black men and white mobs that included people in positions of authority.  It’s an intense subject handled well.

Michael Carroll then brings us a tale of his R.A.I.N.B.O.W. heroic group facing a bunch of really cool ninja.  The heroes get their powers combined in weird and unfortunate ways. It’s really just an excuse to draw a bunch of cool things and make a bunch of jokes.  Which is what Michael does best, and he delivers in this strip.

The next strip in the book is my Mutant Elf story, “Training Day”, which flashes back to the days of Myzla’s Mutant Elf instruction.  I wanted to tell a nice compact story that would give some insight into the Fairy World and what makes an elf a mutant!  You can tell me if I did well.

Last we have John Steventon anchoring the book with a tale of the Inquiring Minds. I love John’s stories and art, and this little tale of found Roman coins is cute.  It’s a nice little tale to end the anthology for this year.

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