It was March 8, 2013 and I was looking for people to interview about the comics that they were making. People would submit things to our site and some people I would solicit for interviews and thus our Interviews With The Industry column was born and has run with some frequency since. One creator that I randomly met was a young guy from the United Kingdom named Chris Tresson. We discussed setting up an interview and nothing ever materialized, but we were still Facebook friends. I would follow him on Facebook and he was in my newsfeed with all of my other friends. He was this guy who was only a little younger than me with a kid about the same age as mine, hustling and trying to turn his creative ideas into published media. He asked his Facebook friends to become Twitter followers and I did. I mean, by now I was invested in this guy a little bit. He was very English with a taste for the frightening and the arcane while being in a long term relationship (engaged) with a body piercer and raising an intelligent, strapping young boy in a township who’s name I’m not sure that I could even pronounce. We rarely spoke, but I have admired him for doing what he loves and trying hard to capture his dreams for the year or so that we have been in each other’s peripheral.
So, you would imagine my excitement to hear that he was to have a story published in a small press anthology story, put out by Futurequake Press, called Something Wicked and it was issue #10. My mate (his words, not mine) is finally published!!! I was proud of him for putting together a story and getting it out there because it is much harder than you would think. Now, you hear “British Small Press” and think that it is not a big deal, but some very successful comic book creators got their starts on small press publications…Warren Ellis for example. I was encouraged to see Chris’ friends and family tweeting in support of the book and wanted to get ahold of it to see it for myself. I’m not really into horror, but I know what a good graphic story looks like. I thought: “I should get a copy of Something Wicked #10 sometime…support Chris Tresson a bit.”
Well, you can imagine my horror to see this tweet when I was getting ready for work this morning:
THIS…this I could help with. I immediately messaged Chris to find out what the hell a “pound” was and to my surprise, he and his publisher at Futurequake, Dave Evans sent me a review copy of Something Wicked #10. So, here, without further adieu (British words) is my review of my buddy Chris’ anthology… Something Wicked #10.
Something Wicked #10 was released on November 2nd from Futurequake Press. This anthology comic book features 19 different up and coming talents from across the pond, banging out a gritty, occasionally disturbing, black and white collection of stories. They all come together to give a fairly rounded out comic book experience and Something Wicked reminds me of Dark Horse Presents a little bit, albeit with a sharp slant to the Horror genre. We are treated to a total of 10 stories that vary wildly in concept and execution and amidst them, there were standouts for various reasons.
The second story of Something Wicked #10 is called “A Jagged Piece Of A Broken Heart” and had the most striking art of the bunch. Justin Wood seemed to be filling in and telling the story when Robert Lefebvre‘s story fell a little bit flat. I really enjoyed how engaging many of the images were in this short story and think Wood has a chance to do something great with his art going forward.
“Dinner Date” in sharp contrast seemed to have more direction and thematic elements in it’s two pages than the seven page “Schrodinger’s Hat” story at the beginning. The dialog was a bit clunky, but ask any writer and they will tell you that writing a short, contained story is much harder than a long and drawn out one. Tresson’s story ensures us of two things 1. This guy is dead and 2. This guy is dinner. Tresson and Darren Stephens succeed in telling a healthy bit of story with the little room that they are given to do so and Stephens’ cartooning is full and rich looking.
I felt that “Angler” was the most professional tale of the bunch and offered a tale as old as time…”serial killer eaten by Cthulu monsters in the trunk of a car driven by a zombie.” We’ve all heard that one. The storytelling and mood that Jack Davies‘ illustration brings to the table looks polished and pairs well with the writing of Richard Pearce. Cheers on this one mates.
The final piece of Something Wicked #10 that caught my attention was the last story of the bunch entitled “The Last,” by Jimmy Furlong. This amusing concept of hibernating vampires in a post-zombie apocalypse world realizing that they will have no food when they wake up was clever and intelligent with it’s pacing. The less is more, drawn out panels worked perfectly all the way to the conclusion.
So, in conclusion, it has already been pre-established that I don’t know what a “pound” is, but I feel that this would be worth the four of them that Futurequake wants for Something Wicked. There are a lot of really great things going on in Something Wicked #10, even if it is not my cup of tea. If you are a comic fan in the UK, you have to support stuff like this, because the small press is where literary heavies cut their teeth and find their strengths and weaknesses with your support. Although the American comics market is a bit different, I envy this aspect of your comic book experience and I hope that it helps to launch great writers and artists that we will all enjoy for years to come. Great little books like Something Wicked are stepping stones for new talent and God bless ’em for it!
~ Scott Deaux ~