Tag Archives: brandon barrows

Preview: Jack Hammer #2 (of 4)

JACK HAMMER #2 (of 4)

Writer(s): Brandon Barrows
Artist Name(s): Ionic
Cover Artist(s): Ionic
FC/ 32 pgs / $2.99

Private investigator Jack McGriskin is a magnet for trouble–and this time it’s a doozy. Businessman Eddie Newman is dead and Jack has suspects, but can he make the charges stick? And more importantly, can be live long enough to? Stalked by a super-powered killer, Jack’s time is running out! Variant covers by New York Times best selling author Brett Weldele (The Surrogates) and John “Super Ugly” Williams!

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Review: Jack Hammer #1

unnamed(5)Jack Hammer is back, and this time being published by Action Lab Entertainment. The series was originally published by Reasonably Priced Comics, but under Action Lab’s “Return of the Hero” banner, the series will hopefully get the greater attention it deserves.

I reviewed this comic originally way back in January of 2011, but a few years later, and a new publisher I revisited the first issue and thus an updated review. When I first saw the title Jack Hammer: Political Science #1 I imagined a series of political intrigue that might hearken back to my days as a political science major. Instead I’m thrown for a loop as it’s a pretty entertaining detective comic with superhero elements.

In Boston, where powers are real and heroes are rare, Jack McGriskin is a private detective with a wicked right cross and a penchant for nosiness.  When a missing person he’s searching for turns up dead, he stumbles onto a web of hidden corruption and a world he thought he’d left behind!

The writing is actually very solid, to the point I want to see what comes next in the second issue. The art is a little rough, but also good. You can see a lot of potential and there’s only some minor issues I have with it.

Overall, if you like detective stories, Jack Hammer: Political Science is worth checking out because 1) you’re supporting a smaller independent publisher and 2) it’s a really good read.

Written by Brandon Barrows the story is the usual standard noir/detective story and hits all of the plot points you’d expect. Crooked people, a cop you’re not quite sure you can trust, a detective with a shady past and dames. It’s all there. But still, this is entertaining and set up in a while it doesn’t seem like a list is being checked off. The dialogue is good, some flashbacks add depth to the main character and enough is hinted at to show there’s more to come as far as character development.

The art and character design is by Ionic. The art is decent, but doesn’t quite seem finished at times. You can really see this with the hair of the characters which looks stiff and flat. You have the head design (and some times you can see the rough pencils) and then the hair is penciled in with some lines and then colored. It works, but seems a bit rough, like there’s a next step to the art that’s been skipped and depth is missing. But that’s not always the case, which is weird. But overall I liked the art.

When I first read the issue three years ago, and have re-read it, I still am. Like most noir out there, it’s not totally original, but it has personality and enough to make it stand out. If you dig a detective story with a super hero twist, pick up a copy.

Story: Brandon Barrows Art: Ionic
Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Action Lab Entertainemnt provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Jack Hammer #1

JACK HAMMER #1

Writer(s): Brandon Barrows
Artist Name(s): Ionic
Cover Artist(s): Ionic

In Boston, where powers are real and heroes are rare, Jack McGriskin is a private detective with a wicked right cross and a penchant for nosiness.  When a missing person he’s searching for turns up dead, he stumbles onto a web of hidden corruption and a world he thought he’d left behind!  Variant cover by Riley Rossmo (Pirate Cowboy Ninja, Green Wake)!

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Action Lab on Free Comic Book Day

action labNot only does Action Lab have two great releases, their first, for this Saturday’s Free Comic Book Day, but their creators will also be out at local stores to celebrate with fans.

Here’s where you can find them across the country.

Ultimate Comics – Chapel Hill, NC

  • Jeremy Whitley (Princeless, NFL RushZone, Order of Dagonet, GlobWorld)
  • Jason Strutz (Order of Dagonet, Ehmm Theory, GlobWorld)
  • Brockton McKinney (Ehmm Theory)
  • Larkin Ford (Ehmm Theory)

Challengers Comics and Conversation – Chicago, Il

  • Jamal Igle (Molly Danger)

Comic Book Box – Rohnert Park, CA

  • Emily C Martin (Princeless)
  • Brett Grunig (Princeless)
  • Kelly Lawrence (Princeless)
  • Tony Guaraldi-Brown (The Final Plague)

Collectibles Etc – Lexington, KY

  • Shawn Pryor (Exo-1 and the Rock Solid Steelbots)
  • Martheus Wade (Jetta: Legends of the Toshigawa)
  • Janet Stone-Wade (Jetta: Legends of the Toshigawa, Princeless: Short Stories)
  • Tressa Bowling (Princeless: Short Stories)
  • Joe Grahn (Pirate Eye)

Vision of Comics and Cards

  • Kevin Freeman (NFL RushZone, Subculture, GlobWorld)

Acme Comics – Greensboro, NC

  • Jeremy Dale (Skyward)

Comic Ink – Dublin, CA

  • Dave Dwonch (NFL RushZone, Ghost Town, Double Jumpers, Back in the Day)
  • Bill Blankenship (Double Jumpers)

Pittsburgh Comics – Mcmurray, PA

  • Chad Cicconi (Fracture, NFL RushZone)

Jetpack Comics – Rochester, NH

  • Brandon Barrows (Jack Hammer)

Comicopolis – Santa Cruz, CA

  • Johnnie JD Arnold (The Final Plague)

Comic Book University – Indianapolis, IN

  • Jackie Crofts (Princeless: Tales of Girls Who Rock)

Comics and More – Plymouth Meeting, PA

  • Laura Guzzo (Princeless Short Stories)

SLG Boutiki – San Jose, CA

  • John “Super Ugly” Williams (Monsters are Just Like Us)

Cambridge Comic Arts Festival – Cambridge, Ontario

  • Adriana Blake (Princeless: Tales of the Family Ashe)

Help Bring Red Run to the World!

From the creative team of Brandon Barrows (Action Lab Comics’ JACK HAMMER) and Joel Cotejar (Brainscan Studios’ FIENDISH FABLES) comes a brand-new horror one-shot, RED RUN!

RED RUN tells the story of the McConnells, a down-on-their-luck family desperately in need of a fresh start. Packing only what will fit into a trailer, young parents Becky and David move their two small children, Dina and Ben, out of state to an unassuming town somewhere in America’s heartland in order to seek employment. They rent a cheap apartment and make a surprise discovery in their new home that seems like a dream come true, only for it to be the beginning of Becky’s nightmares.

This is a story that we (Brandon and Joel) feel needs to be told, but we need your help. We are seeking to raise $1000, just over half of what the total cost of doing this book will run. I (Brandon) am paying the other half out of my own pocket and the funds raised here will go to paying Joel for his time, effort and the supplies neccessary to pencil, ink and color the comic as he is a working artist with a family to support. I am not taking any page rate as writer of the book and if, through donors’ generosity, we exceed our goal,the excess over $1000 will go towards the rest of cost of producing the book and towards the cost of lettering.

As much as we need your help, we want to give something back in return, as well. Donation gifts include special “IndieGoGo Thank you” versions of the comic (in print and digital formats), exclusive prints, ORIGINAL production art, ORIGINAL sketches and even a chance to see YOUR name listed in the comic’s credits!

Please take a look at the cover and preview pages then click the link below to watch the campaign video and please consider donating. This is a tale about a family who need a helping hand and we need yours to bring their story to the world!

http://www.indiegogo.com/Red-Run

Action Lab Entertainment to release 200 Page Digital FCBD Book!

On May 5, 2012 Action Lab Entertainment is going “Confidential.”

This Free Comic Book Day sees the release of Action Lab Confidential; a 200 page Free Comic Book Day digital download on sites such as Graphicly, Comics+, Drive Thru Comics and additional digital outlets.

Action Lab Entertainment, best known for the indie smash-hit comic book Princeless and the soon to be released Double Jumpers wants to give readers the opportunity to read extended previews of their entire catalog of comics and original graphic novels, including some titles that have yet to hit the shelves.

The goal is to continue to get readers excited in what Action Lab Entertainment has to offer with its diverse lineup of books, ranging from all-ages to mature readers. After reading this FREE 200 page monster you’ll want to rush to your local comic shop or digital tablet and demand for more Action Lab comics!

The following titles are featured in Action Lab Confidential:

Princeless – By Jeremy Whitley & Goodwin

Double Jumpers – By Dave Dwonch & Bill Blankenship

Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – By Martheus Wade

Fracture – By Shawn Gabborin & Chad Cicconi

Globworld – By Jeremy Whitley & Andrew Charipar

Snowed In – By Shawn Gabborin & Rick Lundeen

Back In the Day – By Dave Dwonch & Daniel J Logan

Monsters Are Just Like Us – By Superugly

Exo-1 & the Rocksolid Steelbots – By Shawn Pryor, Adam Besenyodi & Daniel J Logan

Space Time Condominium – By Dave Dwonch

Jack Hammer – By Brandon Barrows & Ionic

It also features a front cover by the talented Rusty Shackles!

200 Pages. And it’s FREE!

So this Free Comic Book Day, after you finish your journey to your comic book store, stop by Graphicly, Comics+, or the additional Action Lab Entertainment digital outlets and download your copy of Action Lab Confidential!

ABOUT ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

Action Lab Entertainment was founded in 2010 by a group of indie-maverick comic creators with the sole intent to bring the world the most action packed, most thought-provoking, most entertaining comics available, thereby ushering in a new age of world peace under the dominating, yet benign control of the Action Lab. Action Lab Entertainment is the public front for all the activities of the Action Lab and its members. Although most of the Action Lab’s activities remain classified, Action Lab Entertainment can disclose that two of its many functions are the marketing of comic books through various sales outlets, and the expansion of their domination into other mediums.

Don’t Sleep On The Hammer. Jack Hammer: Political Science From Action Lab Entertainment

Jack McGriskin is a private detective with a strong right arm and a penchant for sticking his nose into other people’s problems.

When a missing person he’s been hired to find turns up dead, he stumbles onto a network of corruption stretching from the streets of Boston to the halls of Congress itself, and the trail takes him back into a world he left behind…

Murder, mystery, superhuman beings and so much more can be found in Jack Hammer: Political Science. The independent comic series by the team of Brandon Barrows and Ionic receives its first ever completed collected edition, courtesy of Action Lab Entertainment.

Jack Hammer: Political Science is now available for pre-order (Diamond Order Code APR120744) with a June 2012 release in comic book shops, and will also be available via Graphicly, Comics Plus (iVerse), Kindle, Kobo, Nook, the Apple Bookstore, Google Books and additional digital distribution outlets.

Ain’t It Cool News calls Jack Hammer “A fun, genre twisting tale… Barrows and Ionic have created something which can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the mainstream fare…”

Comix Tribe says that Jack Hammer has “Intriguing character work and the art is incredible.”

Don’t sleep on the Hammer. Jack Hammer. Coming to a store near you this June.

ABOUT ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

Action Lab Entertainment was founded in 2010 by a group of indie-maverick comic creators with the sole intent to bring the world the most action packed, most thought-provoking, most entertaining comics available, thereby ushering in a new age of world peace under the dominating, yet benign control of the Action Lab. Action Lab Entertainment is the public front for all the activities of the Action Lab and its members. Although most of the Action Lab’s activities remain classified, Action Lab Entertainment can disclose that two of its many functions are the marketing of comic books through various sales outlets, and the expansion of their domination into other mediums.

RP Comics Review – Science #1, Jack Hammer: Political Science #3, Reasonable Priced Comics #2 and #3

Science #1

Science! CoverRP Comic’s latest entry into their anthologies, the comic lives up to its name and focuses on science fiction.  Five stories all too varying quality but overall a solid collection.

Surefire Means follows a crashed spaceship’s two remaining members and the one way to escape.  The story telling is great and the ending just caught me off guard.

Yours, Mine and Ours is the second entry and follows a squabbling couple on a remote base in space.  There’s some great humor here and has a nice Twilight Zone feel to it.

A Place in History, two explorers are caught underground in a cave.  The story is ok, and the twist is somewhat M. Night Shamalan.  I’m not quite sure it fits into the theme, but is a decent short story.

R-Net is another good Twilight Zone type story following a man who wants to take down a corporation.  He has a device that’ll allow him to do it over and over if he fails.  So what happens when he confronts the evil corporate head?

Lateral Murder is a murder mystery with detectives trying to figure out how someone was killed in a society that doesn’t allow murders.

All of the stories are good, some are in fact great.  RP Comics is a company that should definitely get your attention, as this issue shows, they do quality.

Writer: Brandon Barrows, Ted Woods, Jay Townsend, Martin Brandt II Art: Joel Cotejar, Ted Woods, Rowel Roque, Jay Townsend, Ionic Publisher: Reasonably Priced Comics

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Jack Hammer: Political  Science #3

Jack Hammer: Political Science #3The third in a four part limited series.  The protagonist Jack Hammer is still on the trail of the murder and winds up going against a villain from his past.  The series is good.  It’s an entertaining mix of super heroes and a crime story and the dialogue of the characters, action of the story are all great.  There’s great flow to the story.

There’s also been a lot of growth over the three issues as far as the look and style of the characters.  It’s grown into its own and the style has grown on me.  Hair stands out a bit more which adds a bit of  depth to the characters (this was a problem in earlier issues).  The angles and use of panels is solid as well.

But with one more issue to go, we’ll see how the overall story holds up.  The third is just one chapter, but, it’s a pretty decent one.

Writer: Brandon Barrows Art: Ionic Publisher: Reasonably Priced Comics

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Reasonably Priced Comics #2 and #3

Reasonably Priced Comics #2The original anthology from Reasonably Priced Comics shows off some of what it does best.  Each issue has three stories in it, all by some talented folks.  This is a good group of folks coming together to put out some fun reads.

Voyaga continues in both issues following our stranded NASA pilot and the future world he’s wound up on.  It’s very Planet of the Apes but stands up on its own.  It’s a very entertaining story that’s almost worth picking up the three issues on its own.

My Way an extraterrestrial Rat Packer has to ditch the mob.  It’s a funny story that has its moments.

The Communicators, two individuals sit across from each other working for their entire lives.  Then the ending just comes up and hits you in the gut.

In the third issue along with Voyaga we have two more entries.Reasonably Priced Comics #3

Kidthulhu has a following and you can see why.  A really funny comic that involves Kidthulhu playing fetch with his dog.  It got me to laugh a few times throughout it.

Western Addition – “Dinner Guests” is a western shoot out that just comes out of nowhere.  Lots of bullets fly around and then it just kind of wraps up.  I’m not the biggest western fan but this was decent with a feel that fits the genre.

These two issues are just solid examples of what this company does.  All of those involved are talented writers and artists and I have them on my radar to expect some solid work in the future, because what they’re doing now is pretty damn good.

Writer: Brandon Barrows, Alex De-Gruchy, Michael Nichols, Martin Brandt II Artist: Ionic, Robert Durham, Joshua Calloway, Jason Stephens, Leandro Panganiban Publisher: Reasonably Priced Comics

Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Reasonably Priced Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Review – Jack Hammer: Political Science #2


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Jack Hammer Political Science #2The second issue of Jack Hammer: Political Science continues much of what I’d expect. The series is an interesting mix of noir, detective and super hero comics, with a lot I like. There’s just something entertaining about it, and helps it’s an indie comic which I’m a fan of supporting.

Jack McGriskin has been many things: a juvenile delinquent, a soldier, a boxer…a superhero. Now he’s a private investigator who keeps finding that while he can ditch the spandex, he can’t leave behind the heroics!

In his first limited series, the ”Political Science” storyline, Jack is hired to find a missing business executive only to have him turn up dead under bizarre circumstances. When the company that hired him tells him to back off, he is even more determined to get to the bottom of the case and the leads he follows may lead him back to a world he thought he’d left behind.

The second issue starts to get more into that whole political end of things, giving hints as to who’s behind things.  There’s a lot that’s going on here with the usual detective novel traps.  And it works, even with the genre being flooded with choices.  The series continues to impress me, and hopefully you’ll give it a shot too.

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Review – Reasonably Priced Comics #1


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Reasonably Priced ComicsI like anthologies, even when the stories are so varied as the first issue of Reasonably Priced Comics #1.  It’s best to take each story on their own to really explain how much I enjoyed each.

Voyaga – “One Small Step”

Written by Brandon Barrows with art by Rudolf Mantemayor, this sci-fi story is a great pulp tale reminiscent of great B-movies.  The story follows an astronaut who will make a journey to another planet but something goes horribly wrong.  It’s pulp fun, and reminds me a lot of Planet of the Apes.  Great cheesy sci-fi and I ate it up.

Chu’s World – “My Girlfriend is a Gamer”

The story and art is by Chu Wei and it’s hilarious looking at the relationship one person has with his video game playing girlfriend.  I love my video games and really appreciated it, finding myself laughing at numerous times.  Great stuff.

Laces

Written by Martin Brandt II with art by Silvina Rinaldi this is a horror story that’s pretty twisted and involves shoe laces.  It definitely needs a second part to explain what the hell was going on.

The three stories couldn’t be any more different, but all of them are quite solid.  Reasonably Priced Comics as a company is a great find, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they produce down the road.

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