The folks over at Sitcomics had an idea on how to take the comic world by storm, and now in January 2018 they’ve introduced Binge Books.
What are Binge Books, you may ask? They are a new affordable 64-page self-contained comic stories that sell for $3.99 each and I had a chance to check out the first wave of books from this new innovative company.
Sitcomics and is the brainchild of Darin Henry, a TV sitcom writer with shows like Seinfeld, Muppets Tonight, Futurama, and a slew of other sitcoms under his belt. Hence, the name “Sitcomics”.
Offering 5 new comics titles ranging from superhero books, to humorous, to “slice of life”, to horror based books, he is dubbing it “the new bingable age of comics”.
Henry has written a variety of stories that blend the idea of episodic television sitcoms with self contained humorous and semi-serious comic books. Each is a little different but still playing off the standard comic book industry as well as TV tropes, right down to the idea of having “commercials” during your comics. these “commercials are parodies of commercials you might see during an average show. Think MAD Magazine or Cracked and how they would have “ads” for fake humorous products that make fun of real products.
The Blue Baron
Henry’s superhero book, The Blue Baron, with great art by Ron Frenz (The Amazing Spider-Man) and inked by legendary Sal Buscema (The Incredible Hulk) is a fun mix of Shazam! and Freaky Friday where a 300 year old super hero from the colonial days of Philadelphia has a body switcheroo with a loser high school kid. Each learns how hard it is to be the other while learning to be both themselves AND the other until they can figure out a way to get back their respective bodies.
Startup, featuring the fantastic art of Craig Rousseau (Perhapnauts), is a classic origin story book with a twist as a 300 pound hapless, single mom struggles with her weight as well as raising a son in the city. She is made fun of, and at the same time, ignored by the people around her. She finally looks to a crazy scientist that tells her he can make her thin instantaneously. The magic elixir he has concocted is able to transform her into a svelte hot mamma. There are side effects though as she now has super speed from all the energy released when the weight is compacted into a tiny frame.
There is also a social side effect of what she must do to moralistically when all of a sudden EVERYONE notices her and her life changes overnight both for good and most definitely for the worse. What she thought would be an answer to her prayers becomes the source of her worst nightmares.
Then there is Super Suckers, a humorous teenage vampire tale with lots of hijinks, á la Archie comics. Makes sense seeing as the book is drawn by Archie Comics veteran, Jeff Shultz. It is literally like watching an Archie comics version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is definitely my favorite of the bunch so far.
Henry then takes on life as an awkward teen in high school with Telepathic. This “coming of age/slice of life” book is one part Freaks and Geeks and one part Carrie, if Carrie was a comedy. I love the art and colors by Blair Shield. What would happen if two social outcast nerds gain telepathic powers only to find out that the most popular cheerleader in high school also has the same powers?
They all have to assist each other with trying to deal with their new found powers while trying to continue to deal with all the added bonuses of being a high school teenager with all the trials and tribulations that go along with that as well.
Finally Z-People is a humorous tale of a zombie apocalypse that is captured before a live audience when a news reporter and a bunch of town folk have to contend with the undead. With art by MAD Magazine caricature and comic artist Tom Richmond, it is wacky fun and dynamic visual feast. Think Home Improvement and Entertainment Tonight meets The Walking Dead.
Each of the books Darin Henry is creating is trying to do something different and he succeeds most of the time. I feel like with most television series first seasons, these books are still trying to find their niche and their voice. He has rounded up some amazing talent and he has some really wonderful ideas and unique takes on the characters that, I think, just need a little more fleshing out. It is almost there. I was entertained reading these and the one thing I very much enjoyed was the variety of tales he is telling. I also like the idea of having self contained long stories. even with the “commercials”, which were funny and made me laugh more than not, I think having them as 64-page format books will help in the long run, especially at a $3.99 price point.
As someone who usually dislikes sitcoms and is annoyed with most television I really liked these books despite what they are. They are fun. They take chances. They play with the genre they are in while respecting it fully. You can tell Henry is a fan of comics and loves them a lot. He treats each genre and style with a reverence and yet knows where and how to poke fun at it without being a total jerk. Only someone who appreciates something can do this well, I believe. I hope these do well. I will definitely be picking them up in my sub folder when they come out. If for no other reason then to have a well written well drawn alternative to the same old, same old stuff that almost made me stop reading comics altogether.
If you like fun and funny alternative takes on the comics you love and read then you may want to give Sitcomics titles a chance. There may be one you really like that will satiate your fan heart.
For more details, visit sitcomics.net