The Best Independent Comics from Pittsburgh Comicon

NevermindsNeverminds

Publisher: Drumfish Productions

Writer: Rich Bernatovech

Artist: Jamie Fay

DrumfishProductions.com

Neverminds is the first in a series focusing on an all-female superhero team. The team is introduced as they begin a rescue mission. Their covert op is interrupted by a mysterious and powerful villain who has been lying in wait. The stranger fights the team to a stand-still before fleeing into the night, allowing the ladies to finish their mission. The story is well plotted, including a nice twist ending, which makes up for the overall lackluster dialogue. Jamie Fay shows his stuff as an artist, though. The colors are vibrant, the characters are distinct and well drawn, and the book has an overall professional feel to it.

 

Furiousfurio-baltimore-teasers-5

Publisher: Dark Horse

Writer: Bryan Glass

Artist: Victor Santos

Technically, Dark Horse is a major company, and should not be involved in this list. However, I have previously reviewed Glass’s work on Forgotten City, and I could tell that Glass could do much better work than what was presented there. Furious does not let down. Glass’s new heroine is relatable and human. “The Beacon” is a new superhero on the scene, and she isn’t making a whole lot of friends. While trying to prevent a store robbery, she stumbles on a mother who is involved in a high speed chase. After flipping the car, she shows why the media has taken to calling her “Furious” by beating the woman senseless. The first issue also has an undercurrent of a long-term story, introducting us to starlet Candace Lark who is connected in some way to Furious. Glass’s writing is solid and engaging, and is backed up by Santos’s Oeming-esque artwork. Furious is a good addition to anyone’s pull-bag

 

Victor Season1963_4605B

Publisher: Angry Gnome Comics

Writer: Shawn Gabborin

Artist: Stephanie Adams

AngryGnomeComics.com

Gabborin brings an interesting take on the classic slasher story with Victor Season. The town of Victory was founded by a group of diplomats. Unfortunately, they were not quite fit to survive on their own. So one day a man named Victor came down to help them, bringing food and supplies so that the town could thrive. In return, the town was named after him. But the next year, Victor came back looking for payment. The townsfolk had nothing for him so they took a group of nine travelers and townsfolk and presented their meat to Victor. Victor comes back every year to collect nine more people to stock his larder for the winter. What’s interesting is that the town is mostly okay with this. Even the sheriff turns a blind eye to the vicious and brutal murders that happen in the town. Victor mostly takes tourists, but this year he is one short. Gabborin writes a gripping start to an excellent tale of murder and chaos. Stephanie Adams brings some incredible pencil sketches that really help set the scene. The only detraction is that the character’s hands do not seem quite right in certain scenes. This is, undoubtedly, something that will improve as the issues go on, and everything else in this book is sound enough to keep the reader moving.

 

Snowed Inurl-1

Action Lab

Writer: Shawn Gabborin

Artist: Rick Lundeen

AngryGnomeComics.com

Another Gabborin story, Snowed In is a one-shot about a group of teenagers stuck in a cabin on a snowy mountain. The story is everything a reader could love about classic horror: horny teenagers, remote location, and a mysterious “something” out there. Between Victor Season and Snowed In, Gabborin has shown that he is a true student of 70’s/80’s horror. This doesn’t mean that he can’t innovate, though. Snowed In just oozes creepy. The black and white artwork gives the whole book a dark feel, and the dialogue keeps tensions high while the doom moves in on the group. It would be hard to say that anyone could match this style of horror

 

In No Way Memorable

Writer: Colton McBryer

Artist: Scott Hedlund

In No Way Memorable is the story of a man who, in a fit of road rage, discovers that the immoral actions he does make people forget him completely. For example, Phil (our hero?) is being harassed in a bar, stands up, and punches his aggressor in the face. Phil steps outside for a moment, comes back in, and the bartender has completely forgotten everything that happened. The story is original, but the first issue feels fairly short. However light the issue might be, it holds my favorite line from any of these books. “That face isn’t going to punch itself.” In No Way Memorable is an add to the “maybe” pile. Hopefully issue two has a little more depth to it. Scott Hedlund’s art is good enough that it could be found at any of the major companies

 

Only Human9c6a8549a9d116fdaa101275df642a5b

Writer: Joseph A. Michael

Artist: Daniel P. Gorman

OnlyHumanHQ.com

Only Human feels jumbled and chaotic, but this is by design. Only Human deals heavily with the dreams of its two main characters. While they are slipping in and out of consciousness, however, something has taken hold of the other citizens in their town. That something involves Gretta Ried, wealthy CEO, and part-time baddie. As to what exactly is going on, well, that’s a bit confusing. The story should become clearer with further reading, one hopes. In the meantime, the art is professional quality, and there are no real flaws with the book, at all. Simply put, Only Human may just need another issue or two to stand out from the pack.

 

Hero By Nightimgres

Publisher: Platinum Studios

Writer: DJ Coffman

Artist: Jason Embury

HeroByNight.keenspot.com

Hero By Night is interesting. The story takes place in the present, but is accompanied by a free web-comic that takes place in the 40’s and 50’s. In the present, Jack King (whose name makes my inner child snicker a little bit) has found the lair of pulp-era crime-fighter, Hero By Night. So, Jack does what anyone would do: he tries to sell the ancient accoutrements on eBay. This alerts the Hero’s old villains, who are anxious at a little revenge. They track Jack and kidnap his special lady friend in an attempt to force him into turning over Hero’s old journals and ring. After some encouragement from sandwich shop owner RT, Jack dons the power ring and costume to run off and rescue the damsel. Jack is one of the more relatable characters to appear in a comic. He doesn’t want to be a hero, he just wants to make some easy cash. The comic has some chuckle-worthy moments and is an incredibly fun read. The art is soft and smooth, giving the book that web-comic feel.

 

BuggedMOCT131154

Publisher: Drumfish Productions

Writer: Rich Bernatovech

Artist: Teyo

DrumfishProductions.com

Bugged was certainly different. The story centers on young, dorky Felix Herbert. One day, Felix finds himself face to exoskeleton with a talking roach named Bob. Bob tells Felix that he has a special gift, and that is why Bob was drawn to him. Bob tells Felix that he has the ability to see people’s past sins and because of this, it is his duty to exact justice on these people. Felix begins murdering these sinners which eventually gives him the confidence to stand up to his bullies, and ask out the pretty girl at work. It all comes crashing down, though, when Felix starts having visions while on his date. Needless to say, things do not end well for Felix Herbert. Bernatovech create an interestingly dark story in comparison to his other work, while Teyo’s artwork has a distinctly 80’s feel to it.

 

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I would also like to add that Jeff Lonnett, while not published in a comic, is an incredible artist. Lonnett, an art teacher, was on-hand selling prints of his work. The superhero prints were done mostly in the style of old ads, and simply looked fantastic. Lonnett also creates pin-up art style sculptures out of thinly carved wood. His work was very impressive, and I recommend you check him out at JLonnett.com.

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