June 10, 2011

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Digging Into Digital: More Free Comics at Comixology (Box 13, Intrepid Escapegoat, Imaginary Boys)

Digging into Digital is where I talk about comics from an online perspective. Last week, I looked at three issue one comics that were available as free samples on Comixology. Once of the nice things about the digital comics world is that creators can opt to give out some of their material for free, in the hopes that you might be interested in more. Today, I'm going to look at three more.

As I mentioned before, I think this is a great use of the potential of digital comics. Give me a sample to hook me, and then charge a nominal fee to continue. (99 cents is the sweet spot for this, but even two dollars isn't bad, but then you have to be really good.) Now let's get to my thoughts on these three samples. Will I opt to digitally dine again on Box 13, Intrepid Escapegoat, and Imaginary Boys?

Box 13 #1 (of a 113 page Graphic Novel): Dan Holliday is a book author who has dedicated his life to uncovering the secrets of MKULTRA. The thing is, those secrets may very well involve him as well! This first issue by David Gallaher(writer) and Steve Ellis(artist) is very much a set-up for a larger, longer story, ending on one heck of a cliffhanger which definitely encourages anyone interested to pony up the $5.00 to read the rest of the story in a collected digital edition. For some reason, the sequel is entirely free. Not quite sure I understand the logic there. The art is quite sharp, but the sample itself is really small. I wish there had been more available to see if I care about Holliday and his world. Will I keep reading? Maybe, but this one is not a high priority for me.

The Intrepid Escapegoat #1 (ongoing, I believe): Written and Illustrated by Brian Smith, this cleverly named comic is an all ages story featuring a goat that has Houdini-like abilities and supernatural adventures, which is of course not very Houdini-like. In this introductory story, the Escapegoat faces betrayal at the hands of his snake assistant, battles ancient Egyptian curses, and manages to team up with the reincarnation of Isis, who is a petulant child with magical powers. A solid romp from beginning to end, I was completely entertained, even if there were some clunky moments and a few cliched ideas here and there. Will I keep reading? At the right price, no question, but I worry this is more likely to be a more expensive download, if it's available at all. As of this writing, there is no issue 2 on Comixology. Worth grabbing issue one, however, regardless, especially if there's a young reader in your house.

Imaginary Boys #1 (ongoing, 4 issues so far): Written and Illustrated by Carlos Lopez Bermudez. Another of the Zuda comics ends up here, this time a work from an international artist, Mr. Bermudez. A young girl who dies finds out that there's no one path to heaven, and there are plenty of people who'd like to get a fresh young soul. This issue sets up the world and the premise quite well, and give strong hints that all is not as it seems, an idea that isn't new, of course, but to me leads to good storytelling. I love the quirky art on this one, and battles with saints and demons always appeals to me, especially when they are this self-aware. As far as I know this is an active comic, or at least has more to post, as the most recent issue just went up a few weeks ago. Will I keep reading? Definitely. This was the best of the three comics I reviewed today.

What have you sampled digitally recently, either on Comixology or elsewhere? Tell me about it so I can check it out! Also, if you have a comic that you're producing digitally, please get in touch. I'd be happy to check it out here in Digging into Digital!