NYCC: Indie Comic Round-Up, Part 4 — United Free Worlds & Gunplay
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United Free Worlds #1
Story by Blake Leibel
Pencils & Inks by Jason Raines
Colors by Jesse Aronson, Michael Montaine
Fantasy Prone
Cover price: $2.99; Available now

Okay, I love big crazy sci-fi action, I love goofy genre mash-ups, and I love dinosaurs wearing armor, so this book is right up my alley. Basically the premise for the book is this: it’s the near future and the world is pretty much as it is now, until another planet somehow gets transported into orbit around our own. So mankind goes out to colonize the new planet, only problem is, there’s already someone living there. The new planet is inhabited by humans who live in an almost prehistoric society, complete with dino-mounts and club weapons. Naturally, the cavemen see the regular earthlings as aggressors and the whole thing goes to heck in a hand basket.

This is just another good fun comic, which I love. It’s not setting out to be a new Watchmen, but it does what it needs to do. Admittedly, there are a few issues. Series artist Jason Raines still has some experience to gain on his figure work. The characters are a bit flat and lifeless and the anatomy leaves a bit to be desired. The earthlings are presented to be fairly realistic, but Raines can’t quite pull it off yet. What he does do a good job with is the dinosaurs and tech stuff. His vehicles look great and there’s a very good two-page spread to end the book.

My other issue was the panel layout of the book. The creators decided to use a lot of small panels on a lot of the pages, and it just make the book harder to read. It doesn’t help that they used a small font for the lettering, so the reading gets to be a bit tough. Writer Blake Leibel does fit a lot of plot into this issue, and it feels like a much longer story than should fit in this many pages. Decompressed, it is not.

I had fun though, and that’s all that really matters, and I was kind of excited to see the second issue solicited in the new Previews catalog. Give it a shot if you’re looking for a crazy action movie comic. It’s good stuff.


Gunplay #0 Preview
Featuring a Penny Dreadful by Christopher Priest
Written and Created by Jorge Vega
Art by Dominic Vivona
Colors by Nie Ruffino
Letters by Shawn DePasquale
Platinum Studios
Cover price: 99¢, Available now

As a preview for a full graphic novel that is on sale now, this got me kind of interested. From the basic prologue presented here, the full story is a classic western tale of revenge, with a bit of a ghost story mixed in for good measure. Abner Meeks is a former Buffalo Soldier trying to make a good life for himself in the west. Unfortunately, he runs into some very bad men, who set him on a path to his own damnation, involving some kind of haunted pistol. It’s a great mix of western action and ghost horror, and like United Free Worlds, it’s a great mix of genres, it really is two great tastes that taste great together.

This issue has some nice production to it. The art and coloring look great. Dominic Vivona‘s characters look authentic, and he gets some great expression out of them. The colors by Nei Ruffino set the mood perfectly, and this book is all about the mood. The story in the issue should get you excited to read the complete story. There’s also a nice addition of a short story written by Christopher Priest that ties into the regular story. It helps to explain a few things in the story, and again helps the mood of the whole story. The full story should be in stores now so keep an eye out for it.

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