27 Oct 2017

Mini Reviews - HCF Edition 26/10/17

This year's crop of freebies for the Halloween ComicFest include a batch of 'little' comics aimed at a wide age range of readers, so we thought we'd get some little comics readers to take a look and give us their thoughts! 

Writer: William Van Horn
Art: William Van Horn & Susan Daigle-Leach
IDW $0.00

George and Hayden: This is a comic with a classic art style of panels and cartoony drawings featuring Donald Duck and his three nephews but, before you assume it’s too young for you, take note that while light-hearted, this story offers humour tailored for those of older ages while giving everyone a quick chuckle. The story consists of Donald’s trip to a haunted house whilst pursuing his life-long dream of becoming a house-painter. His nephews follow him and cause some trouble for him, while coming across a nasty surprise… While being a preview, it’s definitely worth picking up, and works well on its own. Funny but not a particularly in-depth story. 7/10

Writer: Mariah McCourt
Art: Aaron Alexovich & Drew Rausch
Papercutz/Charmz $0.00

George and Hayden: This is a comic with an ambition of introducing you to the Stitched series. It attempts to set up a mystery or two to be solved in the following comic, and it succeeds in doing so (and showing that the main character knows just as much as you do, which isn’t a lot) but, whilst it leaves unfilled gaps for you to solve in the next book, it seems to leave one too many, and therefore loses impact as a standalone comic but perhaps this will be rectified in the full series. You’ll have to buy it and find out! Either way, the art style is quite unique and thinks outside the box – quite literally – with its layout and subtle but effective design choices forming more mystery and a good atmosphere. The story is not particularly gripping, and doesn’t give a very good example of what the series could be, but the art style is very creative, and some real effort must have gone into it. 7/10

Writer: Bruce Brown and Sean Patrick O Reilly
Art: Renzo Podesta
Arcana $0.00

George and Hayden: This is an introductory comic for the film of Howard Lovecraft And The Undersea Kingdom, and while it is just a preview, the art style is amazing, very carefully designed with atmosphere and effect in mind, and it’s generally very appealing despite being radically different to that of the actual movie (but not in a bad way). It does a decently good job of setting up the story and building suspense in preparation for the movie and includes some back matter (info about parts of the comic) to explain anything the reader needs to know. Fantastic style and an acceptable introduction to the film, although we'd buy it for the art alone. 8/10

Writer: Stefan Petrucha
Art: Allen Gladfelter, Laurie E.Smith
Papercutz $0.00

George and Hayden: This short story is interesting and a good chuckle whether you have watched the movies or not. The overall story is engaging and works fairly well on its own (except for the fact that it is helpful to know the relations between the characters) as well as making you want to continue reading in the actual novel. The humour is directed to those who are familiar with the series and those of older age, however the comic itself is generally enjoyable for all ages. The story involves a human ruining the image of monsters and how Dracula and his family cope with the misrepresentation. Good humour and decent art, but the story feels incomplete. 6/10

Writer: Katie Schenkel
Art: Cal Moray
Space Goat Publishing $0.00

George and Hayden: This is a fantasy book with some attempted comedy directed at all ages but the group of readers likely to enjoy this is relatively specific. The range of audience is quite slim, but will probably appeal to said audience significantly. If you like fantasy with magic but not necessarily ‘foreign magical lands’, this book is likely to appeal to you. To summarise, the main character, Renee, becomes a werewolf, but soon realises she isn’t the only one, and joins the Moonlighters, a gang of werewolves who have been through similar experiences. The art style is simplistic and feels a little empty in places, but it does a good job of keeping a relatively cheerful atmosphere.
The story and art were a little bland, and while it was kind of original, it didn’t seem like it could be a ‘big thing’. 4/10

Writer: Hidenori Kusaka
Art: Satoshi Yamamoto
Viz Media $0.00

George and Hayden: This is a comic based on the Pokémon: Omega Ruby And Alpha Sapphire video games and makes much more sense to those who have either played it or at least experienced it in some way. The story contains aspects similar to that of its video game counterpart, although the actual story leaves you at a cliffhanger, it will probably be resolved in the first book of the series. It appears to attempt to have some depth, but without prior knowledge of the games, TV show or other books in the series, the reader will certainly be confused (and even those with knowledge of the series will probably also be confused without having read the other books, while not as much). It does, however, make the next book look very appealing, and while it is a little weak on its own, the next volume is sure to be a good read. The art style is a classic monochrome (black and white) manga style, with a left-to-right reading system which can throw some people a little, but it isn’t too confusing. The monochrome style is an interesting difference from the usual colour of the games and TV shows, and readers of previous manga will already be familiar with this style. The art is very pleasing, but the story is underwhelming and lacks context. 6/10

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