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Graphic Breakdown: Indie Titles To Warm Your Holiday Cockles

Welcome to the last Graphic Breakdown of the year!

Today we are talking about some independent books. Let’s waste no time and get started.

 

Assassinistas #1
Written by Tini Howard
Illustrated by Gilbert Hernandez
Published by IDW Publishing

There’s nothing better than a book drawn by Gilbert Hernandez.

As one of the creators of Love And Rockets, he just always puts a smile on my face. The story behind this comic is pretty interesting as well.

This book deals with a college kid named Dominic Prince who is gay. His mom didn’t pay his tuition. So she has to go back in the field as a kickass spy.

This time though she is taking her little boy with her!

Otherwise, he would have to get a terrible job and that’s not happening!

The story is light and fun. I laughed a few times and I was engaged the entire time. The art is tops.

Hernandez remains at the top of his field. Pick this up.

It’s a great alternative to a lot of the books out there.

RATING: A-

 

Doctor Radar #1
Written by Noel Simsolo
Illustrated by Bezian
Published by Titan Comics

This wonderful import is a book I have been hearing a lot about. I am glad I finally got the chance to sit down and read it. It’s incredible. The story and art are fantastic and I was enthralled by the whole thing.

The book takes place in Paris in the 1920’s. There is a gentleman investigating a series of deadly acts.

While he does that, he plays a terrible game with Doctor Radar.

But Doctor Radar is a terrible villain! Why would you do that?

The story is full of twists and turns.

The artwork is stunning. I read it twice just to look at the art.

It also boasts a great cover by one of my favorites, Mr. Francesco Francavilla. I was hooked from the moment I saw it. Great book.

RATING: A

 

Helena Crash: Fueled by Coffee
Written by Fabian Rangel Jr.
Illustrated by Warwick Johnson-Caldwell
Published by IDW Publishing

Warwick Johnson-Caldwell, the artist from this year’s Mr. Higgins Comes Home has another book out. And it’s this one!

This is a collection of the first few mini-series. It’s very amusing in general. I enjoyed it and was in the right mood for it too when I read it.

It’s the future! Coffee is illegal.

Helena is our main character and she is a courier. She delivers coffee to anyone who pays the black market price. Then, Helena finds herself in a gang war. What’s a courier to do? Survive, of course!

The story is cute and not too intricate. The artwork is the real draw here. Johnson-Caldwell is a true up and comer and this was his year. Pick this up and see what this guy can do!

RATING: B

 

Plastic TP
Written by Doug Wagner
Illustrated by Daniel Hillyard
Published by Image Comics

I have been hearing a lot about this comic book and I gave it a chance a few months back and was bored. So, I decided to give it enough chance.

Sadly, this is not my cup of tea.

This book is about a retired serial killer who travels around with a plastic love doll named Virginia.

Not since Negan and Lucille have there been a more awkward couple! Then, someone kidnaps Virginia. What’s going to happen?

Wagner’s writing is forced and I feel like he’s trying to hard to be weird. The art is also very clunky.

Some people may like this and they should enjoy it. I’m not one of them though.

RATING: D

 

Superb Vol. 1
Written by Sheena C. Howard, David F. Walker
Illustrated by Eric Battle,
Ray-Anthony Height, Alitha Martinez
Published by Lion Forge Comics

Lion Forge Comics is a line of comics that I was hoping would take off more than they did. They decided to put together a universe called Catalyst Prime. I tried a few. They range from pretty good to just okay.

Superb ends up being a just okay book.

This book shows us the perspective of high schoolers after a big event a year ago. Some of them have gained powers! Yet, they have to also deal with their daily lives on top of it.

This book plays like Valiant’s book Harbinger without much of the charm. It’s a little generic. That’s also how I feel about the art sadly. Still, they tried. It just didn’t work as much as they wanted to. Believe me, I wanted it to as it sounded interesting.

RATING: C

 

Youngblood Vol. 1: Reborn
Written by Chad Bowers
Illustrated by Jim Towe
Published by Image Comics

Oh, Youngblood. It’s the book that started Image Comics. Yet, it never had a good run on the comic. Heck, I don’t even remember them having a coherent storyline. That is what this book tries really hard to do. And does it succeed?

Well, yes. The good news is it’s at coherent. (I remember reading Youngblood when it first came out and it was a mess)

Bowers brings a little bit of intellect to the book with the plot. What’s the story? People use a Help! App on their phones and choose who they would like to save them. That, and the original team is scattered across the globe doing various things (one of even the President!)

I enjoyed it enough to recommend it. Which is a surprise to everyone including me! The art is pretty decent too. It may be the best Youngblood book yet. I’m not sure there was much competition on that front though.

 RATING: B+

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