Welcome to Showside #4 continues to be both hilarious and suspenseful as Ian McGinty and Samantha Knapp make fun of Tinder and the emotional power of Gerard Way’s old band on tiny blue creatures while giving Kit and his friends a villain that is both powerful, entertaining, and certainly not monosyllabic in Frank. (Be sure to read his parts in your best Henry Rollins voice.)
With its bone dry sense of humor, hilarious parodies of sword and sorcery tales, colorful art, and a likeable loser protagonist, Allen, Son of Hellcock #1 stands out from the legions of fantasy comics hitting shelves. Writers Will Tracy and Gabe Koplowitz and artist Miguel Porto also start to show how one writes a fantasy story in a world where all the epic battles have been fought, heroes slain, and villains have won. It is filled with laughs, anachronisms, and a character, who will hit close to home for many readers. (Because barely getting paid for your writing sucks.)
Carver #1 relies heavily on the tropes of the stoic, lantern jawed anti-hero, who can come unhinged at a moment’s notice (If he had a beard instead of a mustache, Carver could easily be a young Clint Eastwood.) , and the masked, monologue spouting villain. However, Chris Hunt keeps things relatively fresh with the sweep of his black and white artwork using economic, striking visuals to craft his hero as well as making Stacker Lee an amusing, if ruthless villain. There is also a rich, three page backup story written and drawn by comics legend Paul Pope showing another facial haired-sporting hero handing off the baton of adventure to Carver as they watch an exotic dancer called the Black Pearl of Paris. Pope captures the decadence of 1920s Paris, which leads directly to the smoking, post-coital Carver that opens the comic. Carver #1 is a retro-styled, pulp adventure comic with striking black and white art that will only improve once Francis Carver and Stacker Lee face off.
Welcome to Showside #2 is another fun installment in writer/artist Ian McGinty’s bouncy, anything goes all ages urban fantasy saga. In this issue, readers get to meet Belle’s little brother Toulouse, who is a bit of a nerd and scared of their father Mr. Stone, an eyepatch wearing demon hunter, who hates monsters (even adorable ones like Kit and Boo) and lives in a castle above Showside. The comic starts as a fun beach excursion complete with rad banter, a food truck excursion, and standing up to an annoying bully, who looks like the steroid fueled offspring before turning into another magical monster brawl. And between the eating and fighting, McGinty continues to develop the world of Showside, including the tension between humans and monsters as well as introduce the silliest (and sadly most powerful politically) character to date, Mayor Mayer.
Ian McGinty is a talented comics artist known for his animation style work on licensed properties, like Bravest Warriors, Munchkin, and Adventure Time Candy Capers featuring the Peppermint Butler. But this fall, he jumps into the driver’s seat as both writer and artist of the upcoming, creator owned Welcome to Showside all ages comics from Z2 Comics.