Review: Awesome Comics Podcast

Review: Awesome Comics Podcast

In celebration of their 100th episode, and because they ask for reviews on almost every show, we’re taking a look at what’s quickly become one of the main pillars of the UK’s small press and indie comics scene, the Awesome Comics Podcast! The basic premise is simple, you’ve got three hosts, Vince Hunt (creator of Red Mask from Mars and Stalkerville), Dan Butcher (creator of Vanguard and artist for El Marvo), and Tony Esmond (writer and contributor to Down the Tubes) who have a nice blend of knowledge, experience, and influences, sitting down for two hours at a time, often with a guest, and chatting about comic books. The three bounce off each other really well. The first episode was the first time Dan and Vince had properly spoken to each other, yet you’d be hard pressed to tell if they hadn’t said so. There’s no noticeable awkwardness and now they’re preparing to record their 100th episode they’ve had time to become extremely comfortable around each other, letting their personalities shine through. This is one of those rare podcasts where no one really takes the lead. Typically, podcasts have a host and co-host relationship and, while Vince is advertised as the main host and audibly interjects at times to get things back on track, the trio truly feel like equals. They also don’t talk down to their audience, as a listener you’re assumed to have some base form of intelligence and they respect that, if you’re listening to a comics podcast, you know the basics of that world at the very least. It’s quite welcoming and respectful in that...
Review – Afterlife Inc. Volume 1: Dying to Tell

Review – Afterlife Inc. Volume 1: Dying to Tell

With the Kickstarter for Afterlife Inc. Volume 4 over halfway to it’s funding goal (hurry, the campaign ends on September 26th), I thought now would be a good time to have another read through the book that started it all and give my thoughts. A disclaimer before we begin, I’ve met Jon Lock, the man behind the series, several times on the indie comic circuit and following several convention after parties I’m relatively confident I can call him a friend.  At the very least, we’re pals according to Facebook so I am likely to have some personal bias. On to the review! Afterlife Inc. follows the exploits of Jack Fortune, a now dead con-artist who saw a business opportunity.  His company, the titular Afterlife Inc., promises to make death a new beginning.  The first book introduces us to Lock’s carefully crafted world, characters and some of it’s lore through a series of short stories. The first of these does a fantastic job of conveying the basic premise.  By following a pilot’s death and first meeting with main character Jack, Lock gives himself a proxy, a character that the audience can project themselves into.  This allows for Jack’s explanation of death, the world of the Empyrean and the mysterious “Calamity” to feel natural instead of coming across as force fed exposition. The remainder of the book hops across different styles, settings and formats.  For example, there’s a black and white, film noir-esque, detective story, an Alice in Wonderland tale that flicks between comic panels and full prose pages, as well as a mostly black and white, seemingly manga inspired, entry centred around Sherlock...