So as I mentioned in my post last night I love stories and all the many ways people tell stories. That includes comics. I’ve always been a comic fan, though for most of my life I didn’t have the finances or time to really get into them.
There was a time when I was younger (The beginning of the ’90s) that I remember I collected some series: The New Warriors, Sleepwalker, Deathlok. Not exactly A list (or even B list) titles those. There was a reason for that though – I always felt daunted by the sheer size of Marvel and DCs universe. So many titles and many of them rolling into issue numbers in the triple digits. Or at least high doubles.
I hated the idea of jumping into the story in the middle. Even at that young age I wanted to get the whole thing. Which just wasn’t an option. Those three titles all happened to start at the same time I was looking for something to read. I’m still like that, which is why I jumped all over BOOM!’s Irredeemable and Incorruptible when they started up. It’s also why I gave DC’s new 52 a try (and quickly gave up). Finally, it’s why I love Comixology now. I can find self-contained series I like and easily enjoy them from the beginning. Which is how I got hooked on Ex Machina (though I’m still not finished that one).
Recently a new comic publisher came out with several new creator-owned titles and started getting a lot of talk so I decided to give them a try. The publisher is monkeybrain comics (@Monkeybrain_inc) and this is what they’re offering so far (and what I thought of them):
Aesop’s Ark [J. Torres (Writer) and Jennifer L. Meyer (Artist)]
This comic is about the animals on the Ark and how they share fables with one another. It has a gorgeous style, and is really quite nice. It’s rated ages 9+, but I wish I had a physical copy to share with my son who’s half that age. I might give it a try on the lap-top anyway.
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World [Adam P. Knave (Writer), D.J. Kirkbride (Writer), Nick Brokenshire (Artist), and Rachel Deering (Letterer)]
This is the title that got me thinking of trying monkeybrain in the first place because I follow Adam Knave on twitter. It did not disappoint. It has a very traditional super-hero style appearance and I enjoyed that. It looked like it might be a silly, early-Harry-Potter sort of story, but it got fairly serious before the first issue was over. It also dropped some mystery on us and there are more than enough interesting questions to make me want to keep reading.
Bandette [Paul Tobin (Writer) and Colleen Coover (Artist)]
Ok, this one I’m really not sure what to make of. The promotion page says it “treads a thin line between Tintin and Nancy Drew…” and maybe my problem is I’ve never read either of those things. It’s rated 15+, but unlike Amelia Cole (12+) it did seem silly to me. Which I think is the point. I enjoyed the soft look of Bandette, but I had I lot of trouble getting past her dialog. This may definitely be a case of my just not getting it. I think a lot of people would enjoy this, it looks like it’ll be quite fun, but it might not be for me. I’ll probably give it at least one or two more issues before I decide though.
Edison Rex [Chris Roberson (Writer), Dennis Culver (Artist), Stephen Downer (Colorist) , and John J. Hill (Letterer)]
This was an interesting surprise for me. Edison Rex, criminal genius, has finally defeated Earth’s greatest hero, and in a most surprising way. Now he has to deal with the ramifications of that success. It was hard for me not to think about Irredeemable when I read this – which is not to say its particularly similar. Irredeemable asked the question of what would happen when a god-like superhero turned evil. Edison Rex asks the question: What would happen if a god-like superhero was no longer around to the protect the earth that had grown used to having him there. I’m definitely coming back for more on this one.
October Girl [Matthew Dow Smith (Writer/ Artist)]
It appeared for most of it that this would be a very realistic/non-genre story of an angsty emo girl. Which, I gotta say, I probably wouldn’t have stuck around for. By the end, it looked like there is more going on here than meets the eye and I’m looking forward to the second issue. Speaking of eyes: It has a very unusual style with an incredibly muted pallete. It’s not black and white – but it’s close. I liked it though, and this is another title I’ll definitely be sticking with for now.
Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom [Kevin Church (Writer), Grace Allison (Artist and Colorist), and Josh Krach (Letterer)]
This title, like Bandette, was a mixed bag for me. Like Badette I found it somewhat silly, and this is most definitely a deliberate choice. Grad student Olive Hopkins gets herself really drunk and wakes up in Dungeons and Dragons analog world: The Ninth Kingdom. I was amused, it has humor, but I’m not really looking for cute and funny in my comic reading right now. Also, I think perhaps I’m done with the ‘real world people end up in fantasy land’ trope. I mean, I like those stories generally, and have loved many of them (The old D&D cartoon, the movie Flight of Dragons, the Guardian of the Flames book series) but I’m not sure I want to see more of it. I might give this one another try but I’m not even sure I’ll do that. Still, take a look – I think there are plenty of people out there who would enjoy it far more than I.
So there you go, those are the new titles currently out from monkeybrain comics. Check them out and consider giving them a try. If you’re looking for a new story to jump on and like comics you have 6 to choose from. The first five are all 99 cents each and Wander is $1.99. Head over to monkeybrain comics or comixology to learn more.