Comics Obscura #3

Comics Obscura #3 (James Jacot Publishing – Various)

From IndyPlanet – In this issue we find Snarky a he gets a case and starts his investigation into the disappearance of a well known family heirloom in The Tao of Snarky. Sidestep through an episode of Ollie the Octopus as Junior is alerted to the events of the nefarious Holiday Gang in Bipolar (with bonus Mr. Easter mask). Rejoin the LMR household as they dog-sit a well trained and loveable pup who gets a little over excited at the word “potty”. Enjoy the spur kickin debut of Reed Gunther as he and his bear Sterling roll into to town to save the simple folk from some saddle rustlin’ robbers. Enjoy the evolution of Elliot the Forgetful Elephant in the Crew-ton Odyssey as we take a break and beat a dead horse for fun. Travel with Amaya and companions in Internal Essence as motives are revealed and they discover a shocking event. Enter the Jaws of DOOM with Alex and Adreena as Rom continues his search for his companions, will Rom find Adreena and Alex in time? Find out in this next installment of Moonquake. Let the dark comedy unfold as we take a trip back in time to discover the beginning of Mindy, Teddy, and Aven’s Omega Holiday.

Comics Obscura has done a lot of growth in the approximate year since I read issue #2. A great deal of true independent creativity shines here, while there is less “filler” than in the previous issues. The summary above does a good job of giving a blow by blow, so I will just get to what jumped out at me. I was pleased to see two of my “Obscura” favorites were back, Snarky and Internal Essence. The Tao of Snarky has a great hard-core gumshoe with a sci-fi feel to it. Snarky has a great balance of good art and story with the two complimenting and enhancing one another. It looks like Snarky will be getting his own book The Tao of Snarky: The Cutting Edge. Can’t wait to read it!

Reading Internal Essence still makes me have fond memories of reading early coming of age, comic fantasy stories (i.e. Elfquest). The only negative was that it was way too short for me, I would love to see Avadrea have her shot at 32 pages! Chris Houghton’s Reed Gunther was surprisingly enjoyable, originally the simplistic art turned me off but following the raw pulp western hero won me back in five quick pages.

This book is chopped full of fresh creative talent, but as is true with all anthologies, some of the pieces were lacking. They either had kind of silly, amateurish art or they took themselves way too seriously or perhaps it just didn’t go anywhere. Now, these things that I found “lacking” could simply be from my own personal lens. I am approaching this from a “what kind of stories I like” perspective and these are art students who are moving their way into the professional world. Maybe, they purposely tried to draw their art simplistic, perhaps there is irony in the self-important Elliot… and it could be that the point of the story was to go nowhere. And if that is the deal, all I can say is that most fanboys don’t want to buy self-indulgent vanity projects for $5.00 a shot.

Okay, now that I have said that, the truth of the matter is that there is way more good stuff in Comics Obscura than not. And some of the mainstream big company anthology books (looking right at you Popgun and Marvel Comics Presents) could learn a lot from the minds and hands of these up-and-comers.

Issue Grade: B (not higher only because of a steep price tag)

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Updated: September 8, 2010 — 10:53 am

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