Small Press COMICS REVIEW
Shining a light on the UK’s thriving small press comics scene…
Sometimes, the big guys get all the love. The international publishers, the critically acclaimed mega-selling writers and artists, the juggernaut titles that have been running since the dawn of time – they hog all the limelight. And while that’s all well and good, here at Comic Heroes we’re about much more than that. We know that toiling out there, often with minimal recognition, are the people of the small press, and they’re creating work that is every bit as exciting, challenging and downright entertaining as anything the big boys can produce.
WRITER: Andy Winter
ARTIST: Duane Leslie
Take Scorgasm, a 21st century update on Roy Of The Rovers that takes a good old-fashioned footy strip, throws in super powers, celebrity culture and cut-throat journalists and leaves you gagging for more after a mere 16 pages. The story of super-speedy Billy Foley and his meteoric rise from small club player to big league hero is not only breathlessly entertaining, it’s also got something relevant to say to lovers of the beautiful game. Gloriously evocative black and white artwork will have you reaching for those old annuals before you can say ‘but I don’t even follow the sport ball’.
The Ballad Of Frank Sartre
WRITER: James Peaty
ARTIST: James Reekie
If the trials and tribulations of super human footballers isn’t for you, then how about a slice of deliciously dark rock and roll? The Ballad Of Frank Sartre contains everything you want from a comic about Satan’s soundtrack, namely shagging, chemical overindulgence and buckets of late-night atmosphere. The pages reek of drug-fuelled decadence, and in between the dog-headed reporters and the grim futuristic setting populated by wannabes and has-beens, there’s an artful story waiting to take you on a three-chord thrill ride somewhere you probably shouldn’t go.
WRITER: Craig Collins
ARTIST: Iain Laurie
Sometimes a traditionally told tale is exactly what isn’t required, orwe’d all be watching Eastenders on repeat and resigning ourselves to an eternity of grunting cockneys shouting at each other. Roachwell is an antidote to the usual: a webcomic that has now been collected, it’s refreshingly weird, effortlessly funny and at times just plain psychotic. Full of terrifying concepts (like the guy who drinks a skinfull and wakes up to find he’s joined M People), at its best Roachwell is like being told a bed time story by that guy you keep on seeing eating cat food outside Tescos. Funny, frightening, and a world unto itself, it’s as if the writers of Psychoville had a breakdown and threw up on a comic; gloriously wrong and yet so very right.
Wait! There’s more! Go to page two for more small press reviews…