Indie Comics Spotlight – Elsewhere #1, Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump, and Danger Doll Squad #0


By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

Elsewhere #1

“I’m Amelia.”

Amelia Earhart did a lot of things in her time that were awe-inspiring. While doing all that awesome stuff, she disappeared and the mystery surrounding her disappearance continues to this day. Elsewhere #1 from Image Comics presents a scenario where she ended up in a very strange new land. The issue is written by Jay Faerber, illustrated by Sumeyye Kesgin, colored by Ron Riley, and lettered by Thomas Mauer.

Mysteriously transported to a strange new world filled with flying beasts and alien civilizations, Amelia desperately struggles to return home. Along the way, she forges alliances and makes enemies as she goes from aviator to freedom fighter in a rebellion against a merciless warlord.

Anachronistic tales are always exciting and Faerber definitely leans into that without apologies. Very little is said about Amelia Earhart’s backstory as it pertains to the story itself; rather, Faerber will likely delve into that as the series progresses. Most of the first issue is spent explaining where Amelia possibly disappeared to and sets the stage for the conflict the plot seeks to resolve. Faerber channels much of that plot through two characters in Cort and Tavel, both of whom are struggling to escape a despotic dictator. The fantasy setting is restrained somewhat as Faerber doesn’t go overboard in that regard yet.

Kesgin’s artwork is a great fit for the narrative in that it provides an appropriate level of fantasy. The characters are rendered with sharp, angular lines that give them defining features against the fantasy backdrops. Those features are especially apparent when it comes to the facial expressions as Kesgin infuses the characters with an appropriate level of response to the seemingly incredulous scenarios that Amelia, Cort, and Tavel all find themselves faced with. The panels are laid out in a way that provides for views that are cinematic in scope and readers can clearly follow along with Kesgin’s thought process. And the colors by Riley are dark in a way that make give the setting an appropriate level of terror that befits a world being ruled by a fierce dictator.

Elsewhere #1 is a very interesting take on the character of Amelia Earhart and her disappearance. Amelia is very bit as plucky as you’d expect – even if she’s faced with a completely strange situation. Faerber’s dialogue is effective at getting the reader up to speed on the world as it is while also offering some intriguing plot threads. Kesgin’s artwork is imaginative and gives the world an otherworldly sense to it that makes the story that much more believable. Elsewhere #1 is a very creative approach for one of history’s pioneers, even if that approach is something rooted more in fiction than fact.

Elsewhere #1 is available now.

Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump

“Be prepared, there is a small chance that our horrendous leadership could unknowingly lead us into World War III.” – @realdonaldtrump Aug 31, 2012 5:46 AM

Donald Trump is the President of the United States. Believe it or not, like it or not, it’s the reality. Yet Trump is still just a man when you strip away all the titles and nothing reflects the man better than his tweets. Those tweets are handily compiled in Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump from Top Shelf Comix. The collection is written and illustrated by Shannon Wheeler.

Acclaimed cartoonist Wheeler transforms Donald Trump’s most revealing tweets into razor-sharp cartoons, offering a subversive and illuminating insight into the mind of the most divisive political figure of our time. Whether you love him or hate him, this take on Trump will help you come to grips with the man and his ideas thanks to Wheeler’s signature mix of slapstick and sophistication.

Because Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump is comprised of tweets, there really isn’t much of a story to tell. Still, Wheeler manages to allow a narrative to shine through that defines Donald Trump. Wheeler pored through upwards of 10,000 tweets and presented them all as they were exactly tweeted and it’s interesting to see some of the themes that begin to prevail. That theme depicts a man grossly insecure and overwhelmingly terrified of the public finding him out as a contradictory fraud. The tweets cover a wide gamut of topics and really hew to Trump’s seemingly consistent ability to meander aimlessly from one stray thought to the next; his stream of conscious is truly terrifying.

Accompanying most of the tweets is Wheeler’s visual interpretations of the words. Wheeler’s rendering of Trump is one of a petulant child upset that his parents took away his favorite toy as punishment for something he did wrong. And it’s those illustrations that really underscore what kind of person Trump really is at his core: a man who proclaims himself as self-made when everything has been handed to him. The stark black and white illustrations allow the tweets themselves to be the focal point as Wheeler seeks to just reinforce what’s already been written.

Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump is a collection that would be a lot more entertaining if the title inserted “would-be” before “President,” but that’s not the case. Instead, reading the rantings and ravings of a bloviating misogynist is made even more terrifying by the fact that the speaker is the President of the United States. It’s almost impossible to read these tweets and not see the true man that Donald Trump is. And Wheeler’s illustrations are probably the most elegant and succinct visualization of his words. Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump is a truly terrible story that reminds readers of the real threat to the still nascent American democracy.

Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump is available now.

Danger Doll Squad #0

Zombie Tramp, Vampblade, and DollFace are each very powerful characters who deal with all manner of evil. Bringing them all together in a story is an inevitability which is why Action Lab Danger Zone is doing just that in Danger Doll Squad #0. The issue is written by Jason Martin (with Dan Mendoza and Bryan Seaton), illustrated by Celor, Marco Maccagni and Winston Young, colored by Richard Garcia, Jason Martin, Christ Northrop and Valentina Pucci, and lettered by Justin Birch.

Danger Zone has three popular monthly titles each starring different deadly ladies, and now for the first time, all three girls come together in one book! Danger Doll Squad #0 is the fuse that ignites the explosive upcoming series featuring Zombie Tramp, Vampblade, and DollFace!

Martin is aiming for Danger Doll Squad #0 to be a launching point for the crossover that brings together Zombie Tramp, Vampblade, and DollFace and to some extent it is. The biggest issue, though, is that Martin spends the entire issue introducing the characters to readers. In its defense, it is a zero issue so there really isn’t a lot expected to happen, but Martin focuses really on reiterating the origins of each of the characters and some of their original encounters. The approach is somewhat disparate and feels disjointed which makes the point at the end where they’re all together slightly confusing. Martin’s dialogue does its best to prime the reader correctly, but there’s just a lot of information being thrown at the reader in the issue.

The artwork duties are split among three artists, all of whom do a pretty solid job with the characters. Each of the three lead characters all sport the looks that they’re known for and seeing them on the same page does look slick. The “origin” stories are essentially updated renderings of what happened for each of the characters when readers were first introduced to them. Celor, Maccagni, and Young give the book an anthology feel with the way their artwork comes together. And the colors by Garcia, Martin, Northrop, and Pucci are spot-on when it comes to finishing the look of each of the characters.

Danger Doll Squad #0 is very much a set-up issue; unfortunately, what’s being set-up is a little murky. Zombie Tramp, Vampblade, and DollFace have all been built up as strong characters in their own right so watching them come together should be interesting. Martin’s script is about half history lesson and half laying the groundwork for potential storyline. The artwork is a good fit for the tone of the book and all of the artists do a great job of mixing and matching the looks of the different characters. Danger Doll Squad #0 is likely aimed more at fans of any (or all) of the three main characters, but it’s created in a way that attempts to make it a bit more accessible.

Danger Doll Squad #0 is available now.

    No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Sorry. No data so far.



Read More