I love comic anthologies. Not only do they tend to be a good bang for your buck but it’s also a chance to sample new ideas and talent. To me, it’s an underused format especially for indie and small press creators who can use it to come together and highlight themselves in one release.
Quantum Echo is a brand new entry to the format with each release having a theme. This first issue’s theme is “escape.” That’s pretty broad and could be anything from an escape from life to freeing the oppressed to finding a release in virtual reality. Seven short stories explores this theme and for the most part, they’re entertaining and show a lot of promise.
Each story is very unique and this anthology really uses the theme to its advantage. The stories range from grounded every day life to fantasy to science fiction and touch upon death and human trafficking. It varies and that’s one of the greatest things about this comic. To see so many creators deliver such varied concepts and with such varied voices is a treat.
The anthology starts off with a brutal battle and some great art in Astral Crusader which sets an interesting tone for the rest. It’s one of the stronger stories in both the plot and the art and from there the rest is all over in quality. Other highlights are Beastly Dance with its water color like art, Emergence with its emotional punch, and The World of Jeremy Trimby’s cute twist.
But, this is clearly an indie release and there’s a roughness about much of the stories that drags it down. The anthology could have used the help of a solid editor. Some stories are choppy in their execution or outright confusing. There’s also issues with lettering which is inconsistent in quality. It can all be read, the style just changes and some choices are questionable. And, as with all anthologies, the quality of the stories and art itself varies.
There’s some fantastic work here. If I were a publisher, there’s absolute talent to keep an eye on or just nurture and some of these creators will be ones I’ll keep my eye out for. With that, it’s well worth picking up and checking out though the price is why I’m slightly hesitant to go all in at $7.99.
There is an indie quality about it though that’s really enjoyable and I have no doubt a few of these creators are going to break out in some way. If this is the future of comics, we’re in a good place and as a first release this is pretty solid. I’m looking forward to see more from this group and anthology.
Story: Paul Bradford Art: William Allen Reyes Letterer: Edwin Lopez
Story: Ben Howard Art: Niina Eveliina Letterer: Edwin Lopez
Story: Michael Westheim Art: Bias Roa
Story: Shep Shepard Art: Ashley Lanni
The World of Jeremy Trimby
Story: M. Westheim, Daisy Porras Art: Bias Roa
Far Out: Misadventure in Odder Space (Part 1)
Story: Kyle Russell Art: Shep Shephard
The Escape Engine
Story: Darick Taylor Art: Shep Shephard
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review
Ben Howard is a contributor to Graphic Policy