Rating: 3.5/5 – Self-Published Anthology With Comedy, Surrealism, and Detectives.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
I had a feeling that I was in for a fun ride when I hit the title page with the credits to Lance Danger Coleman and Alan “Ooh-Ahh” Masingill with quotes about the comic from the likes of James Fenimore Cooper and ‘The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden’. We even get the quote “I’d Buy That For a Dollar!” attributed to “If you don’t get this reference I don’t even want you to read my comic book”. Well, I got the reference, Lance, so I read on.
What I got was 15 pages of “He Parkours Through Time And Fights What He Sees”, pirates, a guy whose super-power is being able to tell on sight if someone would like the songs of Billy Joel, and Velociraptor Frat House. This is followed by a 10 page surrealistic silent story ‘Little Boy’ written by Alan King and illustrated by Masingill, and then a 7 page Heavy Metal Detectives that reminded me bit of early Bob Burden Flaming Carrot or Mystery Men. Masingill’s art is about standard for a self published comic and the reader should go into this comics with that expectation, you’re not getting one of the big name artists from one of the major publishers, you’re getting an offering from a journeyman creator working on their craft and as such, it’s a good effort. The art is serviceable and tells the story and that’s what I needed.
My main critical advice on this issue: It felt schizophrenic, the comedic beginning didn’t mesh with the back half. I can appreciate that this is a factor that plays into a lot of anthology type comics, but keeping to a main tone/theme may work better. I’d have preferred to a full issue of the zany comedy I got in the beginning, but that’s just me, another reader may prefer the other stories but I fear that people who are attracted to the cover and title page I mentioned in my opening paragraph are going to lean more in the direction of the crazy action-packed comedy. People who would really dig King’s ‘Little Boy’ story or the Detectives may never find them because they’re buried behind material that is so far removed in tone. Do multiple issues, one focusing on the crazy, one on the more surreal, and flesh out each with some additional material that complements what is already there. This is also a strength of digital. No lost printing fees, this stuff can be repackaged in different ways with relative ease.
The best part about this comic was the obvious enthusiasm for making their own comic that the creators put into it. This self-published comic follows the “pay what you want” model, so you can toss the creators $3, $1, a quarter, or nothing at all and then download/read what they’ve got to offer as a PDF. I love the fact that the internet and digital distribution allow creators to put together a passion project and get it out in front of people like this. This isn’t a comic that is going to land in the Previews catalog with national distribution, but I’m glad I was able to read it thanks to the internet. If you like the self-published comics you find in Artist’s Alley at your local con or at APE or SPX, give Piledriver! a try. You can find Piledriver! at: https://gumroad.com/piledrivercomix
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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