Elfworld Volume 2 #1 edited by Francois Vigneault
Elfworld Volume 2 #1
I have no idea how I missed the first issue of this series. This seems like something that’s right up my alley, as I like my small press comics with a sprinkling of dorky sorcerers and such, even though finding quality examples of that genre is exceedingly difficult (and hey, send me an e-mail if I’m wrong). I do have to say that I don’t think you’re allowed to start the second volume of a series if you only put out one issue in the first series, but I don’t get toÂ make the rules on such things. With this lineup of talent it was pretty much a sure thing that this book would be damned near indispensable, and I think that ends up being accurate. First up is Grant Reynolds (who has either been quiet lately or he’s just stopped sending me review comics) with a tense chase between two creatures. Very few people outside of Jim Woodring can pull off “what the fuck IS that thing?” better than Grant and those skills are heavily on display here. Next is a piece by Alec Longstreth in which a wizard tries to audition new animals to deliver messages after his owl dies. I chuckled a few times and his cartoony art was perfect for this. Also a clear sign that this book wasn’t going to be either straight fantasy or straight parody of fantasy. Ben Costa and J.R. Parks are up next with a piece about the dangers of pulling a prank on your boss when you work in some kind of evil lair of doom. The Mute by David Enos deals with a mute (duh) wandering around, getting into adventures and saving the girl. Um, spoiler alert, but not really, because that’s not the end of the story so there. This was maybe the highlight of the book, although I may still contradict myself before finishing this review. Jane Samborski is next with a detailed list of dragon rating rituals listed by the types of dragon, and might I just add that this woman has a variety of dragon poses down cold, which I can’t imagine is an easy thing. Dash Shaw has a shortie next that’s the highlight of the book (see what I did there?) about an orc in his final moments before his execution. Brilliant, that’s what it was, and after a story that brutal it was nice to get a laugh out of the ending. Finally there’s a short Icecreamlandiaish (look up their other comics on this site to see what that means) by Eve Englezos and Joshua Moutray that I won’t get into because describing a one panel story is the same thing as ruining it. I guess if you hate all things fantasy you might not like this book, but even then there are pieces that only tangentially relate to fantasy, and it still has a pile of your favorite artists (if you have good taste, that is), so I’d say it’s worth picking up. I also need to mention the production design, as that Sammy Harkham cover and the work that Francois put into designing this book were both top-notch. Look closely at that cover; it took me a minute to get exactly what was going on there. So yeah, I’d say you should buy this book, and if the back of it is to be believed there will even be a new one out soon. $6
Various Anthologies – Kramers Ergot #2
Kramers Ergot #2
Well, this anthology sure looks great. Fantastic design, great cover… it’s too bad that the inside is spotty. Luke Quigley provides a bright spot with his story of a snowman with balls, and Justin Howe steals the show with his “Frankenstein Underwater”. Great story, funny as hell. Everything else was either just OK or… not. I almost think it’s worth it for the look of the book alone and the few great stories. A lot of potential, don’t get me wrong, just nothing to get excited about. Anyway. I get the feeling that #4 or 5 of this series is going to be fantastic, but until then you have to deal with the problem that exists with most anthologies. It’s great at times and hardly worth reading at others, you just have to figure out if you don’t mind taking the bad with the good. Here’s a list of contributors, minus the ones I already mentioned: Dan Longfellow, Sammy Harkham, and David Brook. E-mail them to see what they have out out just send $5 per issue to: P.O. Box 2316 Beverly Hills, CA 90213-2316.