Comics Anonymous

May 17, 2012, 10:45 am
Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: , ,

Wrapping up our Black Hearted Press feature for the week, we take a look at some of the other titles that are available from the publisher. Here’s Gary review of two issue #1’s – Gabriel and Good Cop, Bad Cop.

Gabriel #1

Issue #1 of Gabriel from Black Hearted Press actually brings us 2 stories – part one of the 4-part Gabriel arc and back-up story, Manchester.  Two stories from the talented Jim Alexander – a quirky mix of topics on offer from the Glasgow-based publishers.

Part one of Gabriel – billed as a “True story set in an alternative Scotland” and covering religion, the Saints Templar and some werewolves thrown in for good measure, which if anything, is what’s part of the magic of most indies coming from Glasgow and the UK just now.  It’s a risky move trying to cover all of these topics, but all the better for being able to address at least some of these areas.  There is strong art from Dave Hill too, that mixes the mundane aspects of every-day life with the extremes and violence of a werewolf attack – can’t remember the last time a comic covered such a range in only 12-pages.

Back-up story Manchester pitches us a total contrast to the main arc, with a love story set against an end-of-the-world backdrop.  7-pages and we get lost in the story – that’s a work of genius right there and with more stellar art from Dave Hill.  I liked this one in particular as the whole bittersweet edge to it made it feel more real somehow.

All in all a great addition to the BHP line and well worth a read – I’m intrigued to find out how Gabriel progresses so will hopefully get my hands on the recently released issue #2.  Not sure I can remember another issue with 2-stories, with the same writer/artist that were able to feel and look so different – just shows the depth of talent both these guys have and that BHP are able to identify that for their releases.  Strong scripting from Jim Alexander meets top black & white artwork from Dave Hill –  a win-win and a great showcase for them both.

That being said, I think I’d have preferred this to have been JUST a complete issue on Gabriel – with the backup story maybe being released in an anthology type release but that’s purely personal I think. Good work by both, just like we’ve seen from them before, while raising the expectations for that issue #2

Good Cop, Bad Cop #1

Writer Jim Alexander and artist Garry McLaughlin bring us a twisted comic in the form of Good Cop Bad Cop #1.  A recent addition to the ever growing number of titles released through Black Hearted Press.

A collection of three dark and sinister tales as we see out main character, Detective Inspector Brian Fisher attend to his daily routine of interrogations and crime-fighting.  Thing is, DI Fisher has a severe case of the Jekyll & Hyde’s and that’s the real centre-piece in each of these quirky stories.  Each one starts off with a pretty mundane set-up – visiting a crime-scene in the 1st, an old lady in the 2nd and then finally going door to door in the 3rd.  What’s really creepy with these though, is how quickly they turn into the macabre – whether that’s from our central character or the people he’s involved with.

Ultimately it’s Fisher that’s the real source of violence and anger and Jim manages to spark that off and gets a complete transformation in a couple of pages.  In fact, he manages to give a whole series of facts and builds characters that you’re involved with.  Backed up with some gritty, quality art from Garry who’s previous work in Taking Flight has already impressed the Comics Anon team – a Glasgow talent that we’re sure to keep an eye on in the foreseeable future.

G-Man @gjwatson85

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