A couple weeks ago I got an email out of the blue from John Holland, the publisher & writer putting out comics under his label, Die Bold Comics. Along with the email, he sent me a few of his titles to take a look at and maybe even put up a feature to get some eyes over in his direction. Being all about shining a light on independent publishers, and being of the opinion that what I read was well worth a little attention, here are a few words on what Holland & Die Bold are putting out into the world…
Alma the Champion
What happens when the new Champion isn’t some 18 year old kid, but a 72 year old grandmother. Can she save the universe with her arthritis?
Illustrated by Hernan Gonzalez
Alma was a fun read, with a great spin on the whole “she who will stand alone against the darkness…” thing that was made popular by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The gist is that Sunny, the previous Champion, is killed in her battle against the forces of evil, passing the mantle along to the next in line. But whether the powers that be misjudged their aim, or just wanted to change things up a little, the power & responsibilities fall on Alma, a feisty but undoubtedly elderly woman who just wants to tend her garden.
The story is solid, the first issue making all of the necessary introductions, and should be great to pull in fans of this kind of tale. Sure, it could benefit from another round or two of editing to address some typos (which in fairness could be limited to the review pdf I have). But between Holland’s obvious enthusiasm for the genre and some really great black & white illustration from Hernan Gonzalez, there isn’t anything that shouldn’t make Alma a welcome addition to your collection.
Laveau and her metal companion travel the barren world of the future on their way to a job in the city of New Orleans.
Illustrated by Roman Gubskii
Based on Holland’s intro for this one, Robot Sex was supposed to be a one-shot which just kinda took on a life of its own. And you can rest assured that despite the immediate reactions to its title, this isn’t some kind of sci fi “I never thought this would happen to me”. Based on the first issue, it looks like Holland might just be playing around with a left of center slice of life story, featuring a couple characters that may have started out as a one off but grew into something more.
I can’t really tell you what it’s about, but I can say that following along with Laveau & her robot companion Barney as they wander the barren wasteland was almost zen-like in the easy flow of its narrative. And again, Holland’s story is enhanced by some great work from Roman Gubskii.
A story of the love of a dog and how it transcends all boundaries, even death
Illustrated by Hernan Gonzalez
Okay, I’m not gonna lie, this one just about killed me. There’s an obvious connection Holland has with this story, as he explains in his forward. A Girl and Her Dog is a love letter to all of the dogs in our lives, Holland’s included, who we never get to have around nearly long enough. This is written with a meandering narrative that isn’t set up in any sort of linear order. Holland’s story flows from point to point as it shows the bond that grows between Evie and her bestest buddy Max, from beginning to *sniff* end.
Artist Hernan Gonzalez is back at work on this title, showing his skills and revealing that he can do more than crazy demon fighting action. Well worth checking out if you’re interested in more grounded comics, if you’ve ever had a dog, & if you really do believe that they’re not “just pets”.
John Holland & company are putting some love out into the world. Whether that’s a love for action, comedy, or a day in the life of… They’re making stuff, and that alone deserves a sincere nod of respect. Hop on over to the Die Bold website and take a look around. Your next comic might just be waiting for you.