Things I Picked up at Kapow, #1

There may be a few days now of me going through various bags, pulling out name badges, business cards, half-bent postcards and the odd comic, to see what exactly I ended up with by the end of Kapow Comic-Con last weekend. Here’s a first roundup of bits and pieces I have!
I have business cards from the lovely creators of Kill Shakespeare, an ongoing series from IDW which essentially does for Shakespeare characters what Fables does with fairytale figures. A group of various Shakespearian creations, such as Hamlet, Juliet and Iago, are banding together and banding apart in a quest to find their creator, and, uh, kill him. I’ve yet to read anything of the series, but from what I can tell the story has a shaky start, and then matures into consistency after maybe the first year of stories are complete.
No More Heroes #1, a decent black & white miniseries by Gordon McClean, has a great premise – the world’s greatest superhero, Dark Justice, kills himself. Why does he do it? It may have something to do with a text that Sid, our protagonist, receives, which says “should I kill myself?” Egged on by his friends to respond to this anonymous message, he is peer-pressured into replying “yes”. There is an exceptionally irritating character in this book who gets the absolute daylights smacked out of him halfway through, and I’ve never felt happier. The rest of the story plays out with a series of sight gags and unexpected splash pages. Caio Oliveira’s art is a draw, although black&white never serves a splash page close-up on somebody’s face.
Taroch by Clint Green and Luke Orrin is a visually fascinating piece of work. Published on A4 paper, each side is giant, expansive, and…. shiny! The pages are glossed, which seems a little strange until you start to see the black & white artwork take on elements of colour at random points. The composition is interesting to read through, and the art and storytelling are both fine. One thing which does stand out a little is the choice of lettering — every capital letter, for some reason, slants just a little bit to the right. You notice is surprisingly quickly, and it becomes the one thing you start to pick up on as you keep going through the narrative. But the colouring makes up for this – the arrangement of colour, and splashes of light, create a unique visual effect which really helps springboard the fantastical elements of the story. The art, as well, features a spectacular full-colour splash page in which we see events of the past, present and future collide, in a Yanick Paquette-style page layout. It looks incredible.
I also have a comic called Mister Who, which features a CD you’re meant to play along while you read. This is an urban vigilante story which sees the eponymous antihero (or hero, I guess) one-punching his way through the London underworld. There are some nice moments here, although I think the real standout may be the inking and colouring, which helps set the pulp tone extremely well. It’s a promising piece of work, which – if you check the link – has been turned into a cartoon sequence as well.

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