Short & Sweet: Puppycats, Princesses, and Past the Last Mountain
Natasha Allegri and Garrett Jackson
Bee and Puppycat is an experimental all ages comic overflowing with cuteness. Bee is a woman in her 20s with difficulty holding down a job. Puppycat is a mysterious, angry looking cat/dog that lands her intergalactic temp jobs. Bee is charming and upbeat. Puppycat is powerful yet lazy. The pair take on the world of temporary employment and together they’ll figure out what path Bee should ultimately take.
The writing will make you laugh out loud. The whole bit with Bee’s pudding shirt had me chortling plenty. Occasionally the artwork makes you stop dead in your tracks. Even the lettering will charm your socks off.
Recently crowd-funded by a Kickstarter campaign started by Frederator Studios and Cartoon Hangover, the Bee and Puppycat comic is an extension of the online cartoon. There will be a total of six issues in the series, making this a fun, quick add to your pull list. But Natasha Allegri has stated that there will be more comics should the animated series not pan out. Couldn’t we just have more of both?
Paul Allor & Thomas Boatwright
Th3rd World Studios
I picked this up during FCBD, so it’s a short introductory story and not a full issue, but I can’t wait for the first full issue! Past the Last Mountain is set in a world where fairies, goblins, and trolls are real, and we won the war against them. There’s now a government agency in charge of these fay creatures the humans have locked up in some sort of fenced facility. A troll breaks out as a distraction while her son, a dragon, and some sort of antelope/centaur escape on an unknown mission.
Boatwright’s art is loose and expressive, and he’s more concerned with conveying emotion than focusing on hyper-realistic details. The colors are gorgeous, with a nice watercolor wash feel. He also handles the differing skin tones on both humans and monsters exceptionally well.
Marc Silvestri & Sumeyye Kesgin
Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Asa is the younger son of a carpet repairman who would much rather read comic books and dream of joining the Spell Guard like his brother than face his future, measured out in endless hole-ridden carpets.
Did I mention these are magic carpets? Magic is real, and Asa just wants a little bit of excitement to liven up his dull carpet-repairing existence. So he convinces his friend to give him a spell-loaded frog and then he sneaks into the city to take a look at the most magical item in existence. Unfortunately, things go really bad from there…
Kesgin’s art isn’t that remarkable, although she rocks the interiors of houses. I loved looking at all of the things she stuffed Asa’s house/repair shop with, and even his backyard was delightful. The coloring when Asa is invisible and the last splash page were way better than the rest of the book, and it was nice to see a change from black lines to colored lines and shadows in those instances. I’d love to see more of the atmospheric mood in future issues.
If the name seems familiar, that’s because Ted Naifeh is best known for his Courtney Crumrin comics. Princess Ugg is his latest work, in which Princess Ülga (think genderswapped baby Conan) leaves her lovely remote home and travels into the city on her wooly mammoth to go to Princess School. She causes mayhem just trying to get in the front door, and her classmates look to be the typical princesses you’d expect at such a place. The writing is obviously poking fun at various princess and barbarian tropes, and the art is beyond excellent. This will definitely be going on my pull list!
Michael Del Mundo
Having never, ever cared, even the tiniest bit, about Elektra, I am suddenly now rabidly anticipating the next issue of her All New Marvel Now series. Marvel seems to be trying to make these new solo titles play out on something of a smaller scale — in the first issue, we saw Elektra taking a contract out of both necessity and boredom, and now in issue two, we see her hunting down her mark, encountering other bounty hunters, and generally just doing a whole lot of badass punch-kicking.
Michael Del Mundo’s art carries this series, but Blackman’s writing doesn’t shy away from self-doubt, even as Elektra delivers an array of generally totally badass lines. But seriously, that art: Del Mundo’s fluid, two-page spread fight scenes, his depiction of a creepy power-stealing cannibal, and his use of “YOLO” as a gunfire sound is what puts this series above the rest of the Elektra books I’ve ever attempted to read.