Since it started back in January, Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series has been one of the most intriguing independent comic stories going. The potent mixture of political and supernatural themes have painted a compelling picture of Detroit in the 1970s. Abbott #4 sees daring reporter Elena Abbott finally get to the bottom of a case that’s been testing her since the beginning.
When it comes to an interesting comic, I think an important factor is quirkiness. If the comic comes across as original and out there then it’s going to be the kind of story I want to read. This was the case with Ben Mitchell’s Storm Clouds series. Set in Australia, the neo-noir comic focuses on a man who struggles with anxiety and gets pulled into an investigation around a cult. Storm Clouds is the opening issue and it contains the kind of absurdist humour and dark themes that are sure to appeal to its audience. Mitchell sent a copy of the comic to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.
In recent years, there’s been an increasing number of comics that have focused on food, and it’s possible that the most well-known is John Layman’s Chew series. It follows the adventures of Tony Chu, an FDA agent capable of learning new skills from the food that he eats. I was blown away by the awesomness of the first volume, so it inspired me to pick up the next collection. Chew: Volume 2: International Flavour sees Chu on the hunt for a new type of food that’s sprouted up on a remote island. The graphic novel contains all the irreverent grossness and dark humour of the previous volume.
When a TV show gets a cult following, it can lead to a number of spin-offs being developed. Sons of Anarchy is a good example, with a comic series being created to highlight Jax Teller’s early days with the club. Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original: Vol Two, written by Ollie Masters, centres on the first year of Jax’s life with the MC. As a prospect, Jax is hungry to prove himself and earn respect in the eyes of men he’s always looked up to. But past mistakes have led to him losing his patch and being cast out. The second volume deals with him trying to regain his place, resulting in a fast-paced graphic novel that echoes the thrills of the original show.
Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series has been one of the exciting original stories of 2018, with its focus on blaxploitation and political upheaval in 1970s Detroit. The momentum continues to build in issue three, as Elena Abbott looks to unravel a mystery that’s becoming increasingly supernatural. The story picks up directly from the second issue, with Abbott trying to escape a murderous centaur that’s determined to cut her investigation short.
In the modern day, technology is a common part of every day life, to the point that many people would be lost without it. Social media is a major presence, connecting everyone at all times, though it can be a double-edged sword. What would happen if your privacy was invaded and you were watched 24/7 by the kind of technology that you placed your faith in? That question forms the basis of Stefan Gutternigh’s The Common Good. The cyberpunk comic is set in 2035, where a totalitarian world government regulates the lives of its citizens by monitoring them. Themes of isolation, loss of privacy and societal manipulation are explored in a chilling tale. Gutternigh sent a copy of The Common Good to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.
Some of the most interesting stories feature strong POC protagonists, which is why I’ve enjoyed reading Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series, which features tough as nails reporter Elena Abbott. Set in 1970s Detroit, Ahmed’s comic weaves together occult and noir themes to create a political thriller with memorable characters. Abbott #2 picks up from where the first issue started and it’s safe to say there’s a mystery that needs to be solved.
Fairytales are one of the oldest forms of storytelling being passed down from generation to generation. This ties into folklore and how it can influence entire communities. It’s why I’m always interested in reading stories that are inspired by fairytales and Eric Powell’s Hillbilly series is a great example. Hillbilly: Volume 2 continues the exploits of supernatural wanderer, Rondel, who battles against witches and monsters in the Appalachian wilderness. Powell combines fairytales with southern folklore to create a series that’s worth reading.
It’s an exciting time in the comic industry, with many independent authors looking to get their work in front of readers. The most thrilling indie comics offer the promise of adventure, and one of the most interesting I’ve read recently is Wolverton: Thief Of Impossible Objects #1, created by Michael Stark and Terrell T. Garrett. The comic features gentleman thief, Jack Wolverton on a mission to pilfer and pinch mystical objects from across the globe. Stark and Garrett sent The Comic Vault a copy of the first issue in exchange for an honest review.
There are certain places in the world that seem to have a life of their own and the same can be said in fiction. Places like Gotham City feel like they’re alive, as if they’re testing the people who live within them. A city can become a character in its own right, and that is the case in Paradiso #1, written by Ram V. A young man named Jack Kryznan has business in the high-tech metropolis of Paradiso, but he’s one of many people with an interest in the city and there’s a lot of mystery surrounding it.