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Adams, Eric – Lackluster World #7



Lackluster World #7

Wow. Decent tv shows that have crapped out in their finales in recent years, take note: this is how you wrap up a series. This is yet another case where I’m a bit flummoxed on how much I should give away in a review. Everybody reading this is all caught up in this series, right? If not you might be better off waiting for the collected version, and there damned well better be a collected edition coming, so maybe go ahead and give up on this review and wait patiently by your computers for word that it’s coming soon. For the rest of us, Eric has done an excellent job of summing up past issues here, so even if you’re a little hazy you’ll be caught up to date pretty quickly. At the end of the last issue Kelvin confronted Fahrenheit, and it was looking like things were coming to an ugly end. This issue starts off with a fight… well, I’m not sure if that’s even the right word, as it was a pretty one-sided affair, and probably not from the one side that you may have thought going into this. Sides were chosen, with some interesting results all around, and everybody got the chance to think back and reflect on their actions. No sudden “fade to black” here after the battle, is what I’m trying to say. Everything is wrapped up as neatly as was humanly possible, but nothing comes easy in this world, and everything that does happen is completely earned. See what I mean about being intentionally vague? This review is a little late to the game, as this series wrapped up (judging from the inside front cover) about two years ago. Still, even if there is no collected edition coming (having some internet problems so I can’t check on that for sure right now), you could do a lot worse than to just buy all the issues and enjoy. Unless you’re one of those cranky religious types, that is. There’s plenty here for you to be offended by if that’s the case, you delicate flower you. $6


Lachowski, Kris – Euni the Unicorn #2


Euni the Unicorn #2

If you are a scholar of comic art and wonder why that cover looks a little off, it’s because it was done by Eric Adams (of “Lackluster World” fame) and not Kris. There’s even a little mini crossover inside too, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Kris sent me this because I missed him at SPACE this year (come to think of it, I somehow missed Eric too). Next year, seriously, I’m going on Saturday instead of Sunday. No that that’s your problem. So how about this comic? This is the first thing I’ve seen from Kris in a few years, and it does meander a bit, but that’s bound to happen when there’s a crossover involved. Things start off with a young man flipping channels until he gets to a show about the upcoming apocalypse. Panic sets in, the young man runs out into the street, and runs right into Euni the unicorn. Which would be a little shocking on your best day, but this dude is already freaking out. What follows is a ridiculously hilarious screaming fit by that man, in which the unicorn calmly tries to talk the guy down. That doesn’t work, and suddenly there’s a four page Lackluster World crossover. Well, it’s almost certainly not considered part of that story’s official timeline (if it has such a thing), but it did make me want to dig out those issues and read them again, so the crossover worked. Finally there’s some advice given by the unicorn to that guy about the apocalypse, but I don’t want to risk ruining that brilliant final page. It’s another pretty solid book from Kris, although I’d like a very slight uptick in mayhem for the next issue. No, there’s no way to quantify such things, but I’m always up for more mayhem. And he’s still managing to keep these books at $1, even with the full color crossover in the middle…

Adams, Eric – Lackluster World #6


Lackluster World #6

Where do I start?  There’s the fact that it’s only through sheer force of will that I confined myself to two samples of this comic (the pages with the surprise appearance of two hilariously fictional characters), even though I’ve been sticking to the formula of one sample per comic for years.  There’s also the fact that we finally get an issue focused slightly on Celsius, although really it’s more about getting her brothers in their proper places for the finale in the next issue.  And hey, finale!  That’s a damned shame, even though I do approve of a finite series. OK, I’m reining it in now, otherwise I’ll just randomly gush for a while and call it a day.  I’m assuming that everybody reading this is caught up on the events of the first five issues of this series, and if you’re not, you’re only hurting yourselves.  This time around Fahrenheit has been exposed as the graffiti artist, Kelvin has beaten a man to death with his bible and been locked in a loony bin, and Celsius is left with no clue of what to do with herself.  Those early pages where she fights off blind panic with trivialities was a thing of beauty.  Fahrenheit is kind of just killing time this issue, but that only leaves more room for Kelvin and his delightful delusions.  My choice of two samples of that probably gives away my opinion, but I honestly could have sampled that entire sequence if I thought it was remotely legal or fair to the creator.  There’s insight into Kelvin’s origin story (i.e. “why he went nuts”), Celsius taking a halting step or two towards independence, and all kinds of serious mayhem.  Eric has even managed to end things on just about the perfect cliffhanger, made even more perfect by the fact that the next issue will be the last in the series.  I may have had quibbles here and there with Lackluster World when it started, but this issue was, top to bottom, a flawless comic.  Facial expressions, dialogue, sly background gags, pacing, everything worked as well as humanly possible this time around, enough so that I have to repeat my warning: if you’re not keeping up with this series, you’re depriving yourself of something that comes along in this business only rarely.  I’m not sure what he has planned next, if anything, but here’s hoping Eric builds off this and the finale of the series and keeps it up with the comics.  Issues like this prove that he has it in him to become one of the big names of the industry, as long as the long odds of actually making a living at this sort of thing doesn’t scare him away.  And ordinarily I would complain about that steep $6 cover price, but it is absolutely worth it.  $6

Adams, Eric – Lackluster World #5


Lackluster World #5 Now Available! $5

Hey look, an origin issue! Granted, it’s a little annoying after the cliffhanger ending of the last issue, but in the grand scheme of things it’s crucial to have these people as fleshed out as possible. In this issue we get to see the reason for Fahrenheit’s hatred of Kelvin and yes, he does have a damned good reason to hate the guy. We also get to see Fahrenheit at scholl and how much crap he had to put up with due to being an albino. And the parents! What origin story would be complete without at least a little bit of influence from the parents? Another solid issue, and another crucial piece of the puzzle. Now all Eric has to do is get working on #6, as it’s just plain mean to get people hooked on a series and then make them wait forever to see what happens next… $5

Adams, Eric – Lackluster World #4


Lackluster World #4 Now Available! $5

You’d never guess from that cover, but this is the issue where everything comes to a head. Fahrenheit is revealed as the vandal, his siblings find out and try to take him out, and two competing mobs (pro and con Fahrenheit) wage a bloody battle in the streets. Nothing Lackluster about this one, I’ll tell you what! Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Eric has made a ton of excellent points in these first four issues and I get the impression that they’re going to gel nicely as a graphic novel. The virtual reality bits from #3, the barely controlled chaos of this issue, all combined with setting everybody up for a fall in the first two issues. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the multiple cliffhangers at the end of this one, or the prospect of the siblings meeting each other again in prison. Uh-oh, I may have said too much. Luckily I got #5 at SPACE also, so it won’t be a mystery to me for very long. As for you, this series has been a blast so far, so I’m not entirely sure what you’re waiting for. $5

Adams, Eric – Lackluster World #3


Lackluster World #3 Now Available! $3.95

This time around Kelvin and Celsius take things to another level when they plug in their non-believer brother, Fahrenheit, to a virtual reality religious converter. Oh, you should really look at the other reviews before starting in cold with this one, it won’t make a bit of sense. The bits inside the brain of Fahrenheit are priceless, and let me run down the cast of characters that try to convert him: a fireman, robot, talking bear, missionaries, cats, and Jesus. And of course, maybe my favorite background character ever, a smiling cross with three little smiling nails resting on its arm. Sheer genius. The rest of the comic deals with Fahrenheit’s partner showing up late for work again (although he at least manages to save the day) and Fahrenheit killing Jesus 88 times in an effort to get out of his virtual world. I’ve been liking these a bit more each issue, and this one continued that trend by being my favorite of the bunch. $3.95, maybe some day soon there’ll be a nice graphic novel for all of these issues, but for now it’s worth it get it piece by piece.

Adams, Eric – Lackluster World #2


Lackluster World #2 Now Available! $3.95

Any doubts I had about this series just being another “the whole world sucks and here’s why” gripefest vanished after this issue. Oh sure Fahrenheit still has plenty to complain about in the world, and rightly so, but this issue is more about his siblings, a mysterious graffiti artist and, oddly enough, fighting. One regular fight in a movie theater and one all-out brawl at a bar, to be specific. Throw in another intriguing ending (with potentially the best box in comics ever, depending on what is inside of it) and you have me really wishing that I had splurged at the con and got #3. Oh well, one of these days. In the meantime this does a good job of continuing to set up these characters and it still looks great. $3.95

Adams, Eric – Lackluster World #1


Lackluster World #1 Now Available! $3.95

What’s the first thing you think of when you see that cover? For me, I figured this would be a gothic comic of some type, probably about vampires or other bloody, silly things. Nope, it’s all about a man named Fahrenheit and his disgust with the world and most everyone in it. In this issue (the first of a projected seven or eight part mini series), Fahrenheit gets talked into a birthday party with his siblings who, believe it or not, are named Kelvin and Celsius. At the party they try to talk him into accepting Jesus as his savior (which apparently happens a lot) and he runs into some drunken co-workers, who make fun of him for a bit before wandering off. Oh, did I mention that he’s an albino? Look, comics where the main character thinks he/she is a whole lot better than the rest of the world are a dime a dozen in the small press comics world, and it’s hard to say from one issue whether this comic will just be another addition to the pile or something that really stands out. I was fearing for the worst before a genuinely intriguing ending, but it’s still tough to say where this is all going to lead. It’s enough to keep me interested in a future issue or two, which is all a first issue of a series really has to do. Here’s a website, read up on it yourself and see what you think…