Welcome back to Reviews Roulette, where Megan assigns random comics to the intrepid WWAC staff. They are bound by the sacred Reviews Roulette contract to deliver an honest review, whether liked, loved, hated or disdained the comic they were assigned.
This week they read webcomics Salmagundi and Validation, and new Dark Horse offering, Father’s day. 
Salmagundi ch2, strip43

Chapter 2, strip 43.

Salmagundi #1

Piccolodian (W), Marion-GGG (A)
Comic Rocket, Smack Jeeves

The premise of Salmagundi is that a gay man and a lesbian woman accidently had a kid together. It’s not the most original premise — something similar occurred in The Object of My Affection — but I appreciate the update on the trope in Salmagundi.

There’s a certain sincerity to the story that I liked as well. The dialogue at times jumps from feeling real to stilted, as if taking cues from better written comedic works, and trying to replicate them. But there was a real sense of friendship between the two leads, Lez and Don.

The comic treats sex with a frankness that is refreshing. No picture perfect bodies of models here, and though the only naked people seen are women, it doesn’t feel as though they are on display. The awkwardness of sex is present as well, which added some needed, genuine humor to the strip.

The art is rough at times. Backgrounds are near non-existent and some panels are very crudely drawn. This can make the strip a little difficult to read at times — the connecting speech bubbles are a much-needed addition. Lez is really nicely drawn, however. I loved the messy, free way her hair flows and tumbles. A small detail, but one that gives her a lot of weight and body as a character.

As of right now I’m curious to see where the story goes, but not overly invested either. The character of Don felt more like a trope than an actual person. Lez got my attention and added the weight needed to carry the story. She was a joy to watch and read.

— Desiree

Father’s Day #1  Mike Richardson (W), Gabriel Guzmán (A) Dark Horse ComicsFather’s Day #1

Mike Richardson (W), Gabriel Guzmán (A)
Dark Horse Comics

Silas is a changed man. At one time he may have been known as the Eastside Butcher but that’s all behind him now. He doesn’t even kill spiders anymore. But you can’t just quit the mob, so he’s been hiding away in a small cabin on the seashore. Staying out of sight, for his own safety and the safety of those he loves. That is, until the very angry daughter he abandoned shows up on his doorstep.

The first issue of Father’s Day is a quick read. As soon as Silas and Denise are introduced, they are forced to go on the run. The pacing is fast and consistent throughout. I like that this is a father-daughter story but I wish that it was a little more unique in its premise. Abandoned grown child shows up on father’s doorstep to yell at him…we’ve seen that many times before. But it does make for a highly emotional, dramatic introduction — which is probably why it’s so prevalent. Denise fluctuates frequently between being extremely pissed off and wanting to help protect her father from the mobsters who are chasing them.

This may not have been the most original start to a story but there is the potential for some really interesting character development as it continues. You just need to be willing to stick with it.

— Christa


Strip 90.


Christian Beranek (W), Kelci Crawford (A)

Validation is a twice weekly webcomic about the small adventures of a sweet trans woman named Ally. The first 45 strips have been collected into print and the book is available at www.validationcomic.com.
Each comic gives the reader a glimpse into Ally’s daily life. She often encounters ignorance and fear as she goes to work, hangs out with her friends, and, most heavily featured in this collection, goes to a comic book convention. During these exchanges, Ally is bubbly and winsome, ready to correct misconceptions and explain her right to live as she wants to anyone she encounters. There are also introductions to some wonderful allies in these first panels. We meet Roxie, an Amazonian trans rollergirl, and see the start of a possible romance with Jim, a cis male comic book artist. However, for every Roxie, there is a ignoramus like Jolene, one of Ally’s cis female friends who makes the weirdest, rudest comments, often in public.
Thus the scope of Validation is small but intricate. It is a quiet comic; low on suspense and mystical creatures and high on social message and correct information. But it never feels like a textbook on trans issues or is bogged down by preachyness. These possible pitfalls are avoided by Ally’s incredibly personal and nuanced internal monologues. They reveal a great wealth of self and bigger picture knowledge, a timeworn thoughtfulness, and a bit of weariness that the rest of the world still has so much to learn.
It’s obvious that for Validation’s writer, Christian Beranek, and artist, Kelci Crawford, this is a heartfelt project born of dedication. The art is reminiscent of manga, which is not my personal preference, but it is painstakingly inked and colored. As the series goes on, the art and lettering get a bit more mainstream and less angular. Overall, the attention to detail and obvious hard work give this first collection a nice finished quality. This is a solid beginning for a very sincere and thoughtful webcomic.
— Jennie