Comic Review: Isola, Issue 4

I’ve taken a while to get to this issue, I think because I was really invested in the first 3 issues it was hard to pick up the 4th without having the fifth, which is the end of this original arc of Isola. I hear it will return in January 2019. But, hey, now I’ve gotten to Isola #4, so here’s my take.

(WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD)

See the source imagePicked Up: Issue 3 leaves off on a real cliffhanger. Rook has lost queen Olwyn, as Rook has been captured herself. She escapes the trappers and is led to Queen Olwyn, who has been turned into a tiger. When she finds Olwyn in this spooky spirit place, Olwyn is mostly human again, though with a tiger head. She only speaks one word. “Murderer.”

Flashback: As one might expect from the ending of issue 3, much of #4 is a flashback. We get to see who Rook killed that would cause Olwyn to call her lover a murderer. However, we also learn why Rook would have done something like this. We also see how Olwyn is turned into a tiger, though we are still unsure why–the motive.

Monsters: One of my favorite parts of this comic are the monsters. From issue one, it’s made clear that this world is one of giant beasts and crazy creatures. There is an intriguing type of person in this comic as well, crossed between animal and human, some people are bear/human hybrids, others are wolf/human hybrids. I expect this to be more explained and explored in future issues, as they certainly raise some questions about why and what they are as they seem to have some spiritual rituals around these beast-people.

Conclusion: This continues to be one of my favorite comics. I’ll likely finish off the first run tomorrow, so will bring you my thoughts on issue 5, but knowing I’ll have to wait until January for subsequent issues is a bummer.

Rip Us Apart, to appear in Speculative City: Issue 3

I know it’s been some days since I’ve posted. Sorry. I’ll get back to comics and books and all that stuff in a bit. I’ve been in a bit of a funk.

Luckily, the funk was interrupted a day or so ago by an acceptance letter I got from Speculative City, a spec-fic ezine. It is a new ezine, biannual publication, and has just been around for about a year. My piece, Rip Us Apart, will be included in issue 3.

Speculative City is a magazine dedicated to urban areas and concepts. Stories that take

 

place in the unseen parts of the cities we all inhabit–whether permanently, or just in passing. Each issue is themed and the artwork is really awesome. It’s clean without being pretentious, genre without being cheesy, and a passion project for editors Meera Velu and Devon Montgomery. I say it’s a passion project due to the fact that is is a 2 person staff–just them, and they actually pay everyone who is published, not a lot, but something. And that likely comes out of the editors’ pockets. That’s commitment. And this makes me want to support them. So here’s my plug for them. Become a patron of Speculative City on Patreon. They aren’t asking for much, but their goal is to be able to pay authors a fair price for their pieces. Their ambitions, thus far, are small, but I believe they will grow if given the funds. So click here to help out these fine folks.

 

From the Speculative City Patreon:

Speculative City is a bi-annual magazine featuring literary works that explore themes, characters, and landscapes exclusive to urban environments.

Each issue of Speculative City strives to push the boundaries of a particular theme, as well as highlight voices often unheard in genre fiction. Such voices may, for example, belong to people of color, queer people, working-class people, and people with disabilities.

Comic Review: Wasted Space, Issue 3

(WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AND ADULT CONTENT AHEAD)

The cover here, of issue 3, might give a little bit away. If we recall the world we’re living in with this comic, it’s one of device profits (albeit disillusioned divine profits), monsters from a different plane of existence, and total pessimism. Let’s deal with the last issue first:

Philosophy: It’s clear to me that Mike Moreci, the author of this piece, has dabbled in the philosophical wasteland of pessimism in the past–or at the very least, has done some study on the subject.

After the death of his one-true-love, Billy Bane falls into a pessimistic existence in which he neither believes in fate nor sees how humanity is any better off without it. As his friend Dust asks,

But what about a random, chaotic universe that can be exploited at any time by, say, someone like me, or you, or the creator? Is that less evil?

Billy’s only response is that even though fate is bad, complete random chaos, which he believes the universe to be, is just as bad, so, “We’re screwed either way.”

Explanations: The premise of this piece is pretty simple. Billy Bane is a profit and Molly Sue is his disciple. But what this was leading to wasn’t clear up until this third issue. This gets into aforementioned monsters from another plane of existence. The monster calls itself Legion. Whatever Legion is, it is big and strong and doesn’t mind killing people (aliens or humans), because it does a lot of that. It also gives some explanation to the point of its existence, which flies in the face of everything Billy believes. Now that I just wrote that sentence I understand this piece better, and I like it a lot more, suddenly. I won’t ruin it for you though. (As I said above: minor spoilers, not major).

Art: I wasn’t going to include this, but there are some really clever, humorous artistic decisions in this issue. The major one it the fact that Dust, a FUQ Bot (yes you read that correct) has a new appearance in which his dick is described as a banana that’s been lifting weights. Every shot of Dust in which his penis could be seen, a yellow happy face covers the whole area. It’s made even more humorous due to the fact that nothing in this comic is very defined art wise. Everything is drawn with thick dark lines. Dust’s penis, if the illustrator had decided to include it in the piece, would have looked like nothing more than a blue (Dust has blue skin) phallic line. Not the least bit offensive in my book. I still remember when the Simpson’s Movie came out and in the beginning, Bart’s penis is revealed. It’s not exactly explicit.

Conclusion: Like I mentioned in my last post concerning this comic, I’m not a huge fan of floppies. This is my last hard copy of this piece, and I think from now on, most of my comic reading will be digital. This doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the comic, more just the medium and availability of the platform. I’ll likely grab #4 and #5 in the weeks to come, as I heard Wasted Space was picked up for a full 20 issue run, 4 volumes in total. Glad to see it stick around.