Alterna Reviews: Croak #2, Adam Wreck #2, Amazing Age #2 & Lilith Dark #2
Over the past two months Alterna Comics have been publishing comics on newsprint paper, which has had the effect of dropping cover prices on these bi-monthly titles to as low as $1 in the case of The Chair, but the majority have been priced at the still ridiculously low price of $1.50. Consequently, despite Graphic Policy probably receiving some review copies, the following comics were all reviewed from the print versions that were purchased at a physical location. This had the benefit of allowing me to have a multilayered experience not only reading the comics but literally feeling the newsprint between my fingers as the distinctive smell drifted toward my nose; yeah, it’s safe to say that these gems tugged at my nostalgia for a bygone era (and bygone prices).
As already mentioned, the following comics were all purchased, and took a grand total of $6 out of my pocket (closer to $8 Canadian dollars if you need specifics), and all are worth the money I paid for them
The first of the four comics I read was the second issue of Croak (8.50/10), which can best be described as a campfire horror story given comic form. You remember sitting around a campfire telling horror stories, or did you tell them huddled under blankets with a flashlight under your chin? Which ever you did (or wanted to do) will give you an idea of what’s on offer here as the issue reveals a little more about what has befallen a group of unwitting campers.
Cody Sousa‘s writing is incredibly atmospheric and panic laden, though I may have chuckled a couple of times as I read the comic, and he effortlessly captures the sense of a truely interesting horror/thriller comic. Couple that with Francesco Iaquinta‘s art and Chris O’Halloran‘s colour work bringing the comic to a nightmarish life. I’m well and truly hooked on this series.
Up next is Adam Wreck #2 (7.75/10), a science fiction yarn about a young teenage boy who has been travelling through space for two years, and is now just incredibly bored. Or at least he was until his ship was attacked by space pirates and he was sent in an escape pod all by his lonesome. Michael S. Bracco is the creative force behind this series, handling both the art and writing duties for this fun and well paced story. There’s a very Han Soloesque vibe to Captain Voric as he hunts for treasure before fulfilling his end of the bargain he made with Adam to save his family. There’s not a whole lot of depth on offer here, with the comic rated E for Everyone, but that’ not to say you won’t enjoy this issue; Adam Wreck #2 is the kind of comic you’ll be able to just chill out and enjoy purely on face value. The art has a wonderful quality to it which belies it’s relatively simple colouring scheme while bringing to life the far reaches of space. You can pick up the entire three issue miniseries (when the 3rd issue is released) for $4.50, which is an incredible price for a story this enjoyable.
Up next is Lilith Dark #2 (7/10), a comic by Charles C. Dowd that centers around a little girl with an overactive imagination who is always seeing little monsters that aren’t real. Except… what if they are? When the monsters in the closet are real, and they anoint Lilith their queen, then you get the kind of comic that mimics almost every child’s fantasy – no matter the age of the child. Fittingly, this is an all ages comic, which makes the story super easy to follow (especially in the parts where there’s minimal narration and dialogue), as well as being quite enjoyable.
The final newsprint comic on offer from Alterna this week was Amazing Age #2 (7.25/10), written by Matthew D. Smith, with art by Jeremy Massie and colours provided by Christine Brunson. The story has echoes of Axe-Cop in how much of it stems from the mind of a young writer: the nine year old Matthew D. Smith. Amazing Age #2 picks up as three highschool kids have been transported to another dimension where they’re quickly confronted with the realization that superheroes exist here in a world that’s eerily familiar to them as one of their number used to create comics, the heroes of which are currently standing right in front of them. It’s a fantastic concept that is geared toward younger audiences with the plot having an easy-to-follow flow that takes you swiftly from one moment to the next, but part of me can’t help but wonder how the same concept could be handled with a slightly more mature vein (though that doesn’t mean that all audiences won’t enjoy it either).
As I said earlier all of these comics are worth picking up when you next visit your LCS, and with three of them being perfect for all ages, you can’t help but love the affordable entry point for those looking to get into comics.