So far things have been massively busy. And I have not done as many reviews as I would have liked. So here’s the first installment (of a few) of my zine reviews.
Burger Force #1 – 4 – Jackie Ryan, et al – burgerforce.com
The Skinny – Nervous and paranoid university student, Mercury, is selected to join a super secret agency whose cover is a fast food chain. The universe appears to have it in for our awkward hero with a sister that seems to hate him, an ex-girlfriend that takes him as a loser, zero friends and a fear of The Illiad. The first story arc deals with something of a mind controlling substance.
The Look – The presentation, the look and feel of the comic is impressive for an independently published comic. Burger Force use photos rendered into black and white sketch-like images for its panels. Similar style was used in Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven or Tony Harris who frequently uses photos as a reference point. This is what initially drew me to this comic. Each panel is rendered very well and very clean. The single issues feel heavy in my hands, more robust than the regular stuff off the stands.
The Story – The pace of the story is slower than what it could be. For a story about super-secret bases beneath mundane jobs (ie Chuck) The pace is a little slow for the sexy and funny spy-fi that should be Burger Force. There are a number of things that remain a mystery to me. In the first issue, Mercury’s girlfriend breaks up with him, but this whole issue feels a bit forced. Mercury also has no friends or sidekick, which puzzles me. If there’s one thing I do know, weird outsiders always find fellows of the same strange feather. Lastly, each issue began with scene how certain people reacted upon contact with a mood-altering chemical. The first scene features a girl implying that she wishes to eat her mother’s heart. This was suitably creepy. The next two, involving a breakup over a wedding proposal and a twenty-first birthday boy telling everyone to shove off are less so. I would have expected something more voracious from a mind controlling substance.
The Verdict – Burger Force looks sexy. Very sexy. Clean art and well-structured panels makes this comic series look good on the inside and out. However the story lacks that bit of extra punch and still feels a bit rough around the edges to really drive thru. I hope that this will improve with subsequent issues.
Haich #1 & 2 – by Filka – Torn Translations
The Skinny – Wide screen art and poetry zine explores the letter ‘H’ and it’s re-occurrence in the world.
The Look – Tight and well-rendered pencils and ink with a flowing style which makes me think of art nouveau meets the cybernetic. The zine is small, and with artwork of this quality, I do wish it was a little bigger. Sadly my photo doesn’t do it justice.
The Story – As with most poetry, I find it difficult to describe. But the general gist is, in a similar vein to the 23 Enigma, “Haich” pervades all time and space, crossing barriers of science and art. Overall its an interesting read.
The Verdict – A nice neat little zine with superb art. I really look forward to reading more.