While trolling through artist alley at Fan Expo, I came across Big Sexy Comics. Big Sexy Comics is an independent comic company and their head writer and mastermind happens to be a guy named Fred Kennedy. Many of our Toronto readers will know Fred better as “Fearless Fred” on local new rock station Edge 102. From his first broadcast, Fred has made it abundantly clear that he is one of us; he loves comics, video games and other assorted nerdiness. Bearing that in mind, I’m always interested in the people who do comics out of love, Fred was gracious enough to give myself and Adam (my TATANS co-conspirator) an interview. The dude turned out to be pretty cool and we’ve got a great bit for our Fan Expo episode (www.nerdholes.blogspot.com, Coming soon, plug plug plug).
He then handed over copies of the three titles Big Sexy Comics for my perusal.
I usually find this sort of stuff kind of awkward. Really cool guy, but what do I do if the books suck? I have a bit of journalistic integrity to think of.
…a bit not a lot…I swear.
Anyways, as it turned out, I don’t have to lie at all. All three books turned out not only to be enjoyable but very well put together. So as it stands here’s a review of Big Sexy Comics.
The first thing I noticed about all three books is the care and thought that went into them. They have color covers and the interiors are printed on very good paper stock. I know it sounds like a materialistic kind of thing to say but it’s just a preference and honestly if I you hand me a bunch of comics by various companies, I will head towards the ones that are better put together first. Especially paper quality. It’s one of my biggest beefs with DC’s current trade run of Scalped. Great book but the crap paper they print the Scalped trades on makes the art seem murky.
So kudos to Big Sexy for spending time on the presentation. Now for the individual books (I’ll try and be spoiler free)
Teuton was initially the book with the concept I found most interesting. Set in the Baltic’s, it takes place in the period where the Teutonic knights were bringing Catholicism to the pagans of the Baltic’s. Even if it meant they had to kill them so they’d get the message. In Teuton however, some of the Old Gods aren’t willing to roll over for the new god coming in and have other plans in mind. The book is decently written and brings up a great period of time that hasn’t really been explored in comics. The black and white art by Adam Gorham is above what a lot of indy books are these days. My only real complaint is that the last few pages seemed like they may have been rushed; the art is still decent but it almost seems like some short cuts may have been taken due to deadlines but all and all a solid first issue.
A post apocalypse mixed with fantasy elements, Helos takes place in a world where the ice is covering a lot of North America and the nations we know now are in the past. Helos didn’t grab me as much as the other two books. The art by Andre Fernandes is solid and honestly his colors are really something for other indy artists to aspire to. But in this case, I just couldn’t get solidly into the story itself. Some of the dialog seems a little long but this may just be growing pains. Many writers don’t get a solid footing on a book until a few issues in.
Mike Gorbsmith: The Only Attractive Russian Ever
The book I thought I would like the least turned out to be my favorite. Mike Gorbsmith takes place in an alternate universe where Mikhail Gorbachev was mutated by Chernobyl into the most attractive Russian in the USSR. At which point his people exiled him and he began to love the capitalist ideal of the US and became it’s defender. There’s also an evil beet in the book. And the ghost of FDR. When first explained to me by Fred, I honestly thought it was going to be a bunch of lame gags but I really really dig it. The story is fun and really grabbed me. I honestly want to read what comes next and I love the fact that Regan is a supporting character in a space helmet! It’s in Mike Gorbsmith that Fred seems to find his balance on dialog and not writing too much of it but not writing too little. The art and colors by Tony Skelpic is top shelf. For a tattoo artist turned comic artist, he gets it right away and I can only see him getting better as it goes along. Out of the three books, this would be the one that would look completely at home beside the various books by the bigger publishers.
So overall Mike Gorbsmith is an assured trade purchase possibly even a monthly purchase (loyal readers will note that’s really saying something coming from me), Teuton is a trade purchase and Helos… I think I’d check out another issue or two but if it didn’t grab my attention more by issue three, probably wouldn’t bother with the trade.
But keep in mind, this is only one man’s opinion, you are free thinking people and can make your own decisions. Big Sexy Comics is smart enough to post previews and even whole issues on their website which is conveniently enough www.bigsexycomics.com . Take a look at it and judge for yourself.
Brent Chittenden is a Canadian freelance writer who also happens to write humorous things for Bite TV’s blog. If you have need of his services you can reach him at [email protected], twitter at @BCNerdhole and his podcast Two Assholes Talking About Nerd Stuff. Feel free to become a fan of him at his Facebook group Brent Chittenden: The Writer.