Every week, I randomly buy about $10 worth of comics from ComiXology Submit, ComiXology’s wonderful self-publishing platform. This is what I think of ’em.
ComiXology Submit is a great way for independent comic creators to get their books out to a wide audience, and it’s an excellent place for readers to find titles that are fresh and different, while still maintaining a certain level of quality. Don’t take my word for it; check it out for yourself!
This Week’s Haul:
Hobson’s Gate #1 ($1.99) – OUR BOOK OF THE WEEK!
Writer & Artist: Andy Stanleigh
It’s Kind of Like: Homeland’s Carrie Mathison invades a noir film. And is a dude.
The Premise: Southtale Gate’s new serial killer couldn’t have arrived at a worse time. Not only is homicide detective Joseph Hobson struggling to make heads or tails of the case, but he’s engulfed in a life-or-death struggle with his own anxiety—and so far, the anxiety is winning.
100-Word Review: Confession: I’ve been struggling with an anxiety disorder for over 15 years, since before I graduated high school (yes, I’m that old), so this one grabbed me. I’m less interested Hobson’s Gate serial killer plot than Hobson’s own internal struggles; I don’t know if Stanleigh’s been through something similar, but he absolutely nails what it’s like to have crippling anxiety. Hobson’s Gate art, which is heavily photo-referenced and stylized (characters are only depicted in silhouette) won’t be for everyone. Personally, I never Hobson’s Gate hard to follow, but like I said, I found the main character immensly relatable. Others’ mileage may vary.
The Wastelands #1 ($0.99)
Writer & Artist: Petitecreme
It’s Kind of Like: The Lord of the Rings, if all the magic just up and left.
The Premise: Amy thinks she’s headed to college. Instead, she wakes up in a world where the gods have disappeared, people have horns, bones talk, and she may or may not be a god.
100-Word Review: So far, Wastelands is driven by its world, not its plot. Like Tolkien’s Middle-earth, the Wastelands’ lived-in setting is rife with legends, which come together to form a coherent and compelling mythology. The best part of Wastelands is learning more about this fantastic, bizarre world. In other books, that would be tedious. Not here. Wastelands‘ stories feel more like exploration, and less like exposition. Amy’s adventure, meanwhile, is just getting started. It’s clear that Amy needs to get home; exactly how she’s going to do that will have to wait for Wastelands’ later volumes.
The Worst Girl of All Being ($4.99)
Writer & Artist: Lesley Graybeal
It’s Kind of Like: Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant with fewer jokes, more statistics.
The Premise: Graybeal examines Susan B. Anthony’s experiences as a girl, woman, teacher, and activist, while reflecting on her own experiences as a girl, woman, teacher, and activist. Along the way, she ponders how far feminism and race relations have come (or, rather, how far they haven’t) since the 1800s.
100-Word Review: Impeccably researched, and altogether fascinating. Susan B. Anthony has a well-known public figure, but other than the very basic facts, most people don’t know much about her. As it turns out, there’s a compelling story behind the name, and Anthony’s friendship with fellow feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton gives The Worst Girl of All Being an emotional hook that enlives its history lesson. Production-wise, The Worst Girl of All Being is rougher than many other ComiXology Submit books, but Graybeal’s art has its own charms, particularly when the author unleashes one of Worst Girl’s deftly-executed jokes.
How I Choose What to Review:
- I’ve got $10 to spend. That’s it. Most of the time, I’ll try to split that money between different titles, so if your book costs $9.99, it’s going to have to be pretty darn special to get my money.
- I try to stick to #1 or one-shot issues. You might be telling the greatest story ever, but I don’t want to start in the middle.
- Unless the hook is amazing, I don’t buy superhero books. Don’t get me wrong, I love superheroes. I read ’em all the time, and that’s the problem. DC and Marvel already meet all my superhero needs. When I come to ComiXology Submit, I’m looking for something different.
- I take recommendations, although I don’t always follow them. You think I might like your book? Hit me up.