Thursday, June 26, 2014

Believed Behavior's Second Issue Stars Michael DeForge

Believed Behavior, the combination tabloid and tablet comics anthology is back for a second issue, once again offering both a print and digital edition for a single price point. For $8, users get 5 more comics across a 12-page print edition.

There are a few changes this time around, all of which are definitely improvements:


  • Instead of serializing the comics online, anyone who purchases a subscription to the second issue will have access to the complete stories immediately.
  • Digital viewers now have additional viewing options.
  • The website has been given an overhaul to make it more user-friendly.

That first point is a big, and well-needed change. While I understand that the webcomics model works on serialization, those stories are also long-form, stretching across months and years. For something that's going to be about 16 panels total, there's no need to make a person wait. I would imagine I wasn't the only person who just decided, "Heck with it, I'll wait for the print copy" and stopped going to the site.

A panel from Michael DeForge.
I also like the idea of additional viewing modes. Not all views work best for all types of devices, and anytime you can give your customers additional options, it's a good thing.

This issue is highlighted by a contribution from Michael DeForge, who is quickly becoming a star in the world of independent comics. As you might expect, his entry is incredibly strange, featuring a person who's had themselves physically altered to resemble a plane. Done in his usual thin, minimalist manner, it gets increasingly preposterous from panel to panel, climaxing in a sex scene that's about as unsensual as it gets.

Other pieces in this issue are by artists I'm less familiar with:
A panel from Lyra Hill.

  • A technological future where an aspiring writer is mocked for his work by Anya Davidson. Her neon color choices really set the linework out and make this feel as alien as possible. 
  • Lale Westvind's entry features a woman who speaks about what appears to be nihilistic philosophy with a a glowing-eyed statue, also colored in such a way to stretch the art and keep the reader's eyes off-balance. The gradual blurring of the recurring images together will work better for some than others.
  • Creation is in the air with Lyra Hill's story of a man who creates neon signs while a boy watches and helps make decisions on the configuration of a new design. Mostly wordless with a few narrative boxes, this is an exploration in shapes and color.
  • Sophia Foster-Dimino closes out the issue with the most narrative of the stories included. A young bodyguard's first day on the job doesn't go so well, as it turns out the tips given a young person for business jobs don't apply so well when it's a matter of life and death. Quirky and sarcastic, this was probably my favorite. Foster-Dimino's reminded me a bit of Box Brown's earlier work, with the characters based strongly around shapes and featuring oval eyes and lightly created noses/mouths. There's just enough in the backgrounds to set the stage, but the coloring felt dull after the bright, blazing shades featured in the other color comics.


As with the first issue, Believed Behavior is best suited to those who are strong fans of mini-comics, particularly of the more experimental kind. If that meets your description, I think you'll really like Believed Behavior. But to get a copy, you'll need to act fast. The deadline for subscribing is July 3rd.

You can sign up for issue two of Believed Behavior at their website.

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