Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just Read - Fear My Dear by Dean Haspiel

Today I will take a quick look at Fear My Dear, a Billy Dogma Experience by Dean Haspiel. I say quick look because Billy Dogma is one of my favorite comic characters. I seem to remember my first encounter with the Billy Dogma being in a mini-comic that I some how acquired, probably through mail order, back in 1996.

Back then, Billy’s stories were short 8 pager, which dealt with romance, love and the silliness (for lack of a better term) of the real world. Fear My Dear is essentially the same thing, just more grown up. Which make perfect sense Billy himself has grown up and looks to be in his 40’s or 50’s in the Fear My Dear stories. The length of the stories have also changed also from 8 pagers to 30+.

But what hasn’t changed is Dean wonderful and insightful storytelling. His views on romance/love are touching and heart breaking. The dialog between Billy Dogma and his girlfriend Jane Legit is a little campy at times but fits the characters perfectly and reminds me of those goofy sweet nothing I say to my wife.

Haspiel is a master storyteller. He utilizes the 4 panel grid to perfection in these stories. Keeping the storyline and action constantly moving, yet still including some quiet reflective moments for both the reader and the characters. At one point in the story Billy is alone by himself minus Jane and the story switches from 3 colors (Black, White and Red) to 2 colors (Black and White) to show the absence of Jane in Billy’s life, “Pure Genius!” I say.

Fear My Dear consists of 2 stories. The first is Immortal, where Billy and Jane face down a monster set on destroying love. The second is Fear My Dear where Billy realizes he has discovered the 8th deadly sin ‘Love’ and comes face to face with his hero Tommy Rocket only to find out that they share some common history.

Overall, Fear my Dear by Dean Haspiel is an excellent comic and well worth the price of admission.
Fear My Dear is one of the first books published by Z2 Comics. I hope this book sells boatloads and we get to see more Billy Dogma on a regular basis. Also if you enjoy this book, there is another older Billy Dogma collection, Daydream Lullabies is well worth hunting down.

-Denny Riccelli creates comics under the pen name ‘dennmann’ he currently publishes the webcomic Cousin Harold and some mini-comics now and then, including Jenny Spookawski Ghost Girl. He lives in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and 2 kids.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Just Read - Third Wheel and Internal Affairs

Okay like the majority of stuff you find on the internet, I stumbled upon these books a couple of weeks ago. New Frontier Third Wheel 1 by Hanna K and Internal Affairs by Patrick Crotty both caught my interest with in days of each other and it turned out they were both published by a Swedish publisher called Peow. So I ordered both books and kinds forgot about them because eI figured it would take some time for them to make it to my house. Imagine my shock when they showed up yesterday and wondering what I had received from Sweden (oh yeah those books that was fast.)

New Frontier Third Wheel 1 by Hanna K was an interesting little book. I found that it was set in the future of 2007 kind funny, not sure if that was the goal but it seems like a tip of the hat to all those 80’s doomsday ideas that the world would massively change in the early 2000’s. The story is about 2 books trying to survive a future where the population appears to be have been experimented with and sent into space. Follow the adventures of Hegarth and Tommen as they try to survive in this new environment. Join them as they discover a strange girl and run from the police.

New Frontier Third Wheel is a fun little book with great storytelling by Hanna K. It feels like a European comic mixed with manga. Hanna’s art is filled with emotion. Each panel helps tell the larger story and helps you to feel what the main characters are going through. The story is the start of something bigger, but can be enjoyed as a stand alone issue.   

Internal Affairs by Patrick Crotty was a fun romp. The story revolves around an inter who is asked to do some extra work, because his boss is to lazy to do it. The extra work just happens to involve piloting a new mech and handing out gift bags at cell phone release party. Needless to say all does not go as planned.

Patrick’s art on Internal Affairs is a great mix of super sparse cartoon  and quickly drawn technology that mix just perfect together. While the story telling is not super solid, I found this book to be filled with life and possibilities. It seems that Patrick goes from one idea to another trying to follow the plot a loosely as possible, I really enjoyed this book and found that there is another version that was published in 2013, so I quickly ordered it.

Both New Frontier Third Wheel and Internal Affairs were published by Peow. A risograph machine was used to print the books and some of the printing is a little off giving the books a nice little charm. They look super professional with some minor imperfections. Also do not let the Swedish prices scare you, but realizes they will cost you a little more than you might expect to pay for a comic of this size.

-Denny Riccelli creates comics under the pen name ‘dennmann’ he currently publishes the webcomic Cousin Harold and some mini-comics now and then, including Jenny Spookawski Ghost Girl. He lives in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and 2 kids.

Okay We Are Back (or I am at least)

The title says it all.