Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It Came From HeroesCon - Action Age Double Feature

I'd imagine that it's almost impossible to visit every small press and independent table at a comic convention. I know that for every one that I stopped at, even just to look at the wares, there were at least two that I missed. But stopping at the Action Age table was something I had to do. One of the writer/editors, the nefarious Chris Sims, used to work at my local comic shop (before abandoning his glamorous career for the super-glamour of freelance writing). The other, 'radical' Chad Bowers, is my next-door neighbor. I can't make this up.

Along with their artist and partner-in-crime, Rusty Shackles, they had several books available for purchase. I was fortunate enough to leave with two of them.

Awesome Hospital is what the name implies. Forget House. Awesome Hospital beats it up, and takes it's lunch money. Featuring Dr. Dirtbike, Dr. Guitar Solo, and Dr. Space Baby, you won't find a medical institution with more insanity. (That includes mental institutions.) The genius is that it still plays out just like a straight medical drama with all the over-the-top craziness largely going unremarked. The art is cartoonish and fun, and peppered with Kirby-esque visuals that help push the sheer comic-bookness of the concept home. Diagnosis: Way Too Awesome. The only treatment is to watch for the second arc online.

When I first heard the concept for Monster Plus, I thought it sounded too goofy for me. (Sorry, Chad.) In the year 2666, a monster that's equal parts zombie, vampire, werewolf and Frankenstein's monster that was exiled to Mars is possessed by the spirit of Dr. Blake Hunter, and fights against President Mark Darke who's secretly selling out the population of Earth to a demonic entity that feeds on our fear. As crazy as it sounds, it works. When I accepted that the main character was a monster mash-up, nothing else was over the top. And to Chad's credit, everything else kept up with the level of insanity that Monster Plus establishes.

Both of these books are available online either as web-comics (in the case of Awesome Hospital) or as digital downloads. In fact, you can also find many of the pair's creations there - Sims' Solomon Stone and Bowers' Danger Ace are both at Action Age for the reading. There's great comics there, and not just because they're my pals. I recommend giving them a look!

1 comment:

Chad Bowers said...

Hey, man -- thanks for the kind words. Appreciate your support, and glad you enjoyed the books.

Talk to you soon.