Category Archives: Reviews – Radical

Halloweek – Abattoir #1

Abattoir #1
Writers: Rob Levin & Troy Peteri
Artist: Bing Cansino
Colors: Andrei Pervukhin
Letters: Troy Peteri
Cover artist: Tae Young Choi
Editor: Renae Geerlings
Publisher: Radical Publishing
Price: $3.99 US

As we continue our eerie journey this week to All Hallows Eve, I turn my attention from a horror comic of the past to a brand new instance of gore galore put to paper. Radical Publishing timed the release of this new title well, no doubt to intentionally coincide with the leadup to Halloween. The title of this new six-issue limited series alone ought to garner some attention given the approaching holiday, as I would imagine some people are in a horror frame of mind at the end of October. As I read this issue, I was struck by the gratuitous nature of the opening. I thought I was in for a disappointment, but once the real plot got underway, a different kind of horror story began to unfold. The premise is a solid one, and by the end of the issue, I was genuinely engrossed in the story of a down-on-his-luck realtor and the chilling conflict with which he was suddenly faced. While the art, rendered in a pseudo-painted style that’s been typical of many Radical titles so far, didn’t grab me, I nevertheless found this to be one of the burgeoning publisher’s best efforts so far, if not the best.

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End of Time for Crime

Maleev coverTocchini coverThe Last Days of American Crime #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Greg Tocchini
Letters: Rus Wooton
Cover artists: Alex Maleev & Greg Tocchini
Editor: Luis Reyes
Publisher: Radical Comics
Price: $4.99 US

I didn’t know exactly what to expect from this new title, but the preliminary artwork I saw piqued my interest, as did writer Rick Remender’s involvement. He’s been quietly carving out a reputation as one of the industry’s most solid writers, and he’s demonstrated some skill at exploring unconventional subject matter. That’s certainly the case here, as he combines a dystopian tone, a convincing crime-drama feel and the makings of a fun heist story to arrive at something compelling and unique. There can be no doubt, though, that a good deal of this limited series’s appeal will stem from its visuals. Artist Greg Tocchini establishes a bizarre atmosphere with some almost psychedelic colors, and he drenches one of the key players in sexuality so effectively that one can’t help but understand the poor choices the protagonist makes based the powerfully alluring and dangerous presence of the femme fatale. Furthermore, Radical continues its experimentation here with a longer format for its episodic comics, and it makes for a satisfying, dense read and a solid value for the reader’s money.

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In the Time of Nick

Incarnate #1
“Chapter 1: Little Boy Death”
Writer: Nick Simmons
Pencils: Nick Simmons
Inks: Matt Dalton
Assistant artists: Nam Kim, Ben Harvey & Shi Hua Wang
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Rob Steen
Cover artist: Jo Chen
Editor: Tim Beedle
Publisher: Radical Publishing
Price: $4.99 US

After reading this comic book, one thing became abundantly clear to me: while many have been watching Nick Simmons on his father’s reality-TV show on A&E, he’s been watching anime. And a lot of it, given the influence of Japanese animation that’s painfully apparent in his writing and artwork for this new comic book. Simmons boasts an angular style that grants the various characters an otherworldly intensity that’s definitely in keeping with an anime approach to storytelling, and other fans of anime and manga horror will likely enjoy what they’ll find in this comic.

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Cowboys in Camelot

Caliber #1
Writer: Sam Sarkar
Artist: Garrie Gastonny
Colors: Imaginary Friends Studio
Letters: Annie Parkhouse
Cover artists: Garrie Gastonny/Stanley “Artgerm” Lau/Dave Wilkins
Editor: David Elliott
Publisher: Radical Publishing
Price: $1.00 US

Sometimes it seems like every week brings with it a new publisher throwing its hat into the comic-book ring. This week is Radical Publishing’s big coming out party, with the release of this comic book and the first issue of Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Not all of these newer publishers offer a product to the marketplace that’s really up to a professional level. Fortunately, Radical doesn’t appear to be one of those outfits, at least not judging by the work in this debut episode of Caliber. The high concept is fairly simple: Arthurian legends meet the Lone Ranger. Writer Sam Sarkar doesn’t force the square peg of the legend of Excalibur into the round hole that is the Western genre too hard, and the end result is a surprisingly cohesive, entertaining and fresh take on old stories. Also impressive is the artwork by Garrie Gastonny. His efforts yield a painted look that balances the gritty, raw qualities of the Western elements with the magical fantasy nicely. If I’d been the editor of this book, there’s really only one major change that I’d call for, and that’s to do something about the painful predictability of the plot.

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