Comic Roundup: How Bad Can it Be For Free?

I mentioned that I went to several stores with some people from a local Geek Club during the last Free Comic Book Day, where the most notable thing was me loading up on feline fantasy. I recently got around to reading the small stake of free stuff along with some free offerings via ComiXology, which I’m slowly growing to appreciate, even if it does toll the death knell of comic book stores.  Sadly, all I can  really say is: what a lot of crap!  Surprisingly, or not, things that seemingly skew more for older audiences on the whole were much, much worse.  I’m starting to think the Bronies might actually be on to something.

I got three comics from Aspen Comics, a studio I never paid attention to before.  I think only one was a free comic, with the other two being sold as cheap promotional items for the store, which was relative newcomer to the area, Game On! Comics (a nicely organized, if sparsely stocked store; it’s not the place you go to for poring over longboxes of ages old comics.)  I think all of the comics mentioned Michael Turner‘s involvement with the comics in their back pages, which seemed odd considering he’s been dead for five years. Although he did found the studio and the place clearly seeks to cultivate a house style that mimics his work.  That strikes me as unfortunate, because his style was very off-putting to potential buyers who a) were women or b) didn’t want to seem like perverts.  It has a knack for communicating to the audience “yeah, this comic is for people afraid of looking at pornography,” which should be a limited market since the advent of the internet.  It’s also pretty accurate.

  • Jirni #1, which was exactly what it looks like: a fantasy T&A fest.  There’s barely a semblance of a story, with confusing transitions between settings (or maybe there was a flashback?), and there might have been one page that didn’t feature an ass or cleavage shot … sometimes both at the same time
  • Then I read Shrugged #1 (of volume 2.)  This looks like it might be a comic with a clever premise, but as a stepping on point it failed miserably.  There’s a teenage boy who has an angel and a demon perpetually on shoulders who talk about him throughout the day.  However I was very unclear as to what their relation to the boy was.  Could he hear them or at least be influenced by them?  The two characters talked about influencing him one way or another but it never seemed to happen.  Then they talked about engaging in some sort of war with monsters (presumably back in volume 1) and I couldn’t really tell if the kid had been involved at all.  Might have been interesting, but it just left me perplexed and unmotivated to bother reading more.  Also, all the girls in his school are hot.  And the slang-ridden conversations were annoying as hell.
  • The cover for Worlds of Aspen 2012 (I guess this was a leftover) features three chicks on the cover (of course) just standing there because … well because. It had a preview for a series, Homecoming, about a teenage boy (of course) whose world is turned upside down when a (sexy, naked) superpowered alien (or is she really human?) woman crash lands in his backyard.  I think this is the opening for a shitty anime harem series. It also had a preview for a series titled Idolized, about a superhero reality show along the lines of American Idol.  Of course the heroine is a hot chick, but I’ve always liked comic book series that address the business aspects of superheroing so I might actually check this one out.  There was also a one page advertisement for Executive Assistant Assassins.  All I know about that series is there’s a girl wearing a hoodie who wears it to show off her bikini top underneath.  And she holds a machine gun.  Again, Aspen aims squarely for that lowest common denominator!

Don’t let me misguide you into thinking that Aspen has the market cornered on titillation.  I also read Exposure #1 by Keen Spot comics.  It was free on ComiXology and categorized under Horror and Supernatural/Occult.  Oh, god … again, just buy porn.  It was laughably stupid.  I’m sure the creator will try to push this as parody but I think it’s simply incompetent.

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