For quite awhile now, I’ve been meaning to start reading more indie comics. While there’s nothing wrong with mainstream comics, I think it’s important to keep an eye on the independent stuff. It only takes time for the independent to become the mainstream, after all. So with this modest platform here on The Black Geeks, I’d like to start an occasional series where I take a look at a handful of indie comics published through the Comixology Submit program. All of these comics can be found and bought through comixology.com
Stone and Wedge
Story by Travis Duda
Art by RH Stewart
I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this comic. Stone and Wedge follows a young Incan boy as he stumbles upon an Alien landing site, and manages to steal a powerful tool from the extraterrestrials. He brings the tool back to his tribe in an attempt to use it to progress their own society, but the tribe leader seems to have other plans and attempts to start a war with the aliens in order to steal more artifacts. There were a lot of really interesting ideas in the writing, such as having the natives, which are usually the victims in these kind of stories, take on a more villainous role. However, I felt that the comic overall was too ambitious and failed on executing it’s ideas properly. For starters, the pacing is way too fast. Plot points come and go, and the reader isn’t given the time to absorb it all. Splitting the story in two, or focusing entirely on either the encounter with the aliens or the tribe declaring war on the aliens might have helped here, but as is, it feels like it’s summarizing a much larger story. There’s also a few problems with the readability of the art. It’s hard to tell what is happening from panel to panel at times, and occasionally it’s hard to tell what’s happening in a single panel, especially when the scene is focused on the aliens. Despite these issues though, I found myself liking the actual illustrations themselves quite a lot. Overall, the comic has a lot of issues, but I feel like there’s enough potential in the premise where I’d really like to see this story continued.
Khiladi: Heart of Champions #1
Written by Gauher Aftab and Hashim Bukhari
I’m not going to lie: getting through this one was a bit of a slog. Khiladi follows Taimur, a young Pakistani cricket player, as he attempts to progress from the U-15 league to the U-19 league, which I assume a step closer to a professional league. The comic never really explains, but we’ll get to that point later. It plays out like any other sports story, but I thought that the Pakistani setting would be interesting; Pakistan being a country I wouldn’t normally associate cricket with. As a western reader, I would’ve loved to read about that middle eastern experience, but the setting doesn’t particularly effect the story in a meaningful way. I also thought that the book would ease readers who were unfamiliar with cricket into the sport, but that is very much not the case. There’s a short scene of Taimur practicing for the big game the following day, some conflict between rival players, and from that point the reader’s treated to nothing but cricket playing. I tried to stay along with the book, but once the game actually started, I had such a hard time trying to follow it I lost all interest. I’d say this might be a more enjoyable read for cricket fans, but had very little investment in the characters even before the game began.
Story and art by El Autor
Chains is an entirely dialogue free story of a young boy who’s woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of chains rattling outside his bedroom window. The story plays out kind of like a Twilight Zone episode for kids from there as paranoia sets in about the cause of the mysterious noise. It’s a cute little story that a younger audience would enjoy, but it’s the art that really stands out for me. I found myself really charmed by the anime inspired illustrations, though I wish there was more variation between the “shots” of each panel. Some of the panels could’ve been edited down for better reading and the “camera” could have moved around the scene more, but these are mostly nit picks. There isn’t too much meat to the story, but If you’re looking for a cute little comic you can get for real cheap, I highly recommend this one.
Written by: Remy Williams April 13th, 2016