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 them.
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:
The Ruby Equation ($6.99) – OUR BOOK OF THE WEEK!
Writer: Sarah Kuhn
Artist: Sally Jane Thompson
Colorist: Savanna Ganucheau
Letterer: Steve Wands
Genre: Supernatural romantic comedy
It’s Kind of Like: Did you see that ABC show Cupid? I didn’t either, but I imagine it’s kind of like this.
The Premise: Ruby, an interdimensional Love Emissary/cynical barista, must make one real, true, once-in-a-lifetime match so that she can get the hell off Earth and do something important with her life.
100-Word Review: A little too twee, a little too inside-baseball with its geek references, but it doesn’t matter; The Ruby Equation is a hit. Kuhn’s script is confident, charming, and hilarious. Also, marginally heartbreaking. Meanwhile, Thompson makes every panel a joy to look at, with perfect facial descriptions and impeccable sense of comedic timing. The Ruby Equation is a slight story—nothing earth-shattering happens here—but it’s a damn good one.
The Long Walk Home ($0.99)
Writer & Artist: Alonso Molina
Genre: Medieval horror
It’s Kind of Like: The Witcher 3, without all of that pesky sex.
The Premise: A knight arrives home from battle, only to find his village burned to the ground and his family missing. He chases after the attackers, assuming that they’re enemy forces—and discovers something infinitely more sinister is at work.
100-Word Review: Heavy-handed in parts; muddled in others; humorless throughout. Molina has a moody style that evokes Hellboy-creator Mike Mignola, but lacks that creator’s writing chops. Sometimes, the twists deliver; at others, they feel like storytelling cheats. Occasionally, they don’t make sense at all.
Meteora #1 ($0.99)
Writer: Aretem Gabrelyanov
Artist: Konstantin Tarasov
Colorist: Anastasia Katerinich
Letterer: Svyatoslav Kaverin
Genre: Sci-fi action
It’s Kind of Like: Star Wars, if everyone was Han Solo.
The Premise: Hot-tempered space-smuggler Meteora (Ora, to her friends) leads her ragtag crew on a simple mission: a shady businessman needs a package delivered to a distant planet. The businessman claims that the package contains a bribe for local officials, intended to pave the way for a new trading route.
100-Word Review: Meteora‘s plot isn’t necessarily fresh—the book is one of those Guardians of the Galaxy-like roguish space operas—but, full confession, that’s my jam. Tarasov’s art pops—the aliens all look appropriately crazy, Meteora oozes personality, and her ship, which is patterned after a VW Bus, is so clunky it’s freakin’ awesome. English clearly isn’t Gabrelyanov’s first language, and it shows in the dialogue. Suffers from typical first issue syndrome: lots of exposition, but ends before things really get crazy. Will read great in a collection.
Writer: Russell Lissau
Artist: Dirk I. Tiede
Genre: Sci-fi comedy
It’s Kind of Like: Star Trek: The Jr. High Years
The Premise: You think middle school on Earth is tough? It’s even worse in space, especially when you’re the only human in your class. Candy spends her days enduring her classmate’s bullying, and her teachers’ well-intended patronizing, all while struggling to keep up academically. When a new, even weirder student arrives, Candy thinks her troubles might be over—but they’re only just starting.
100-Word Review: Utterly charming. For adults, it’s easy to see where Stranger is going, but when a story’s this well-told, it doesn’t matter. Tiede’s art isn’t flashy, but it’s expressive and inventive, and nails Stranger’s many comedic beats. The only problem? It ends. Hey, Mr. Lissau and Tiede: more Stranger, please.
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.