Comics Anonymous


Is there life after death?  Is there life outside the comics produced by the big two?  Two of the biggest questions to hit the average Joe comic book fan on the street and if you look through the reviews the CA-Team has posted, you’ll know that the answer to the 2nd question is a resounding ‘YES!’. While that 1st one will forever elude us… at least there are some titles out there in the indie comic world that take a stab at answering both and this is one of them.

Afterlife Inc. takes place in your imagination I guess or at least in that of writer/creator Jon Lock.  It takes place in a world between life and death, where seven levels exist to house all manner of ‘needs’ that the dead may want to experience for eternity.  Now this may be a BIG thinking approach, but the whole levels-of-after-life thing has been around for a while, Thor’s world tree etc., the difference here is just how fresh this feels.  A quirky mix of eight stories could feel like a mish-mash, given the broad range of styles on show, but if anything this shows the breadth of Jon Lock’s ability to write an interesting story across a number of different genres.  The story is all tied together by a common character, con-man Jack Fortune.  The ruling body of the afterlife has been wiped from existence and an unfortunate demise at the right time has seen Jack step in – a smart-talking, business-minded boss to take over in Empyrean, the great golden city of the dead.  Death may well be a morbid subject but this collection seems to draw hope and wonder from the subject in hand.

All eight tales exist in web-comic form – all written by Jon Lock with letters by Shawn Depasquale

Chapter #1 – Final Destination

Experiencing severe technical difficulties, a transatlantic flight is forced to make an emergency landing… but just where have they arrived?

Art by Ash Jackson.

Chapter #2 – Origin of Species 

Strange events become even stranger as Jack and his team involve themselves in an odd occurrence on the night time streets of Machonon, capital city of the afterlife.

Art by Jerry Gaylord.

Chapter #3 – Silver Screen 

Film star Victor Holden is dead. Someone knows why. Private Investigator Love Jackson searches a black and white city for answers… and the elusive Man in White.

Art by Roy H. Stewart.

Chapter #4 – Death of a Salesman

Dead men tell no tales… but a pint or two might help loosen their tongues. In the afterlife’s number one watering hole, talk turns to life, death and justice.

Art by Jack Tempest.

Chapter #5 – Wonderland

Reality tumbles down the rabbit hole for Afterlife Inc. as the Empyrean comes under attack from a strange entity, and a small girl embarks on a wonderful adventure…

Art by Ash Jackson.

Chapter #6 – On High

An angel’s dreams of a better life take it on a quest to meet its maker: a mysterious, godlike being called the Fortune, who it is said will grant a boon…

Art by Will Tempest.

Chapter #7 – Elementary

For months, the inhabitants of the Empyrean have been preyed upon by a sinister figure. Lux, Afterlife Inc.’s head of security, closes in on the perpetrator… with help from an unlikely source.

Art by Del Borovic.

Epilogue – From Now On

All things must pass… but in the afterlife, a world beyond endings, there are always reasons to go on living. Afterlife Inc. raises a glass to the past, with one eye firmly on the future.

Art by Ash Jackson.

There’s enough story here to keep everyone interested and the writing and artists have been matched up perfectly… For stories about death there’s a lot of fun and excitement in this title.  A strange notion given the subject, but again, this is an indie title taking risks that we don’t really get from the mainstream publishers, who are happy to stick to the tried and tested to gain big sales – sometimes at the expense of any real intrigue or longevity.  There’s also some bonus material in this book too: a Holiday Special, character profiles and a few pin-ups round off the book quite nicely.  My favourite of the eight is “Silver Screen” but all were really well written/drawn.

As with the numerous other indie titles the CA-Team reviews, I urge you to get hold of this – whether that be via the web-comic or just order the TPB and have it in your hands….I’m a bit old skool that way 😀

Hats off to Jon Lock and all the artists involved – roll-on volume 2.

Keep tabs on this and other titles from Jon Lock at:

G-Man @gjwatson85

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