Short Cuts 2: Snow Complete Edition; The Chairs’ Hiatus; Curse; Hit: 1955

Snow CompleteSnow Complete Edition
A graphic novel by Benjamin Rivers

The Beat ran a story recently about the top Comixology Submit downloads (Comixology’s service for self-published digital comics). This was on it, and sure enough I already owned it as part of a big bundle offer. So I downloaded it to my Kindle Fire HD and read it over my lunch hour today. The four chapters run 155 pages, so it was easy to read in just under an hour.

It’s a B&W slice of life comic about a young woman named Dana who works in a bookstore in downtown Toronto. Other characters include her best friend, coworkers, and some strangers she has significant interactions with. The setting and the main character’s age call the Scott Pilgrim books to mind, but this story is completely naturalistic: there are no evil ex-boyfriends or video game effects that happen in real life. It also reminded me of Box Office Poison, but on a smaller scale.

It’s a very good story if you like this kind of thing. Dana learns some things and comes to a significant life decision at the end, so it’s not just self-indulgent navel-gazing. The notes at the end mention a movie and a video game that have spun out of it, and gives links to access them for free. I plan to check them out.

Chairs' HiatusThe Chairs’ Hiatus
Matthew Bogart

Another Comixology Submit e-comic, it’s the story of a member of a successful alt-rock band who has gone into seclusion. She’s living in a new town, working a non-musical job, and having limited human contact. Her old band mates come to visit, and we slowly learn what happened to their musical partnership (it wasn’t about the music, as is often the case in the real world). It’s a shame that the title doesn’t give any idea of what the story is about: I almost overlooked it for that reason.

A nice little slice-of-life story, told in B&W with blue wash. At 99 pages it also read comfortably over a lunch hour.

CurseCurse
Written by Michael Moreci and Tim Daniel
Art by Riley Rossmo and Colin Lorimer

The series begins showing a monster in man form chained up in a basement. That and the dark, realistic art style tells us that we’re beginning a horror story, but we aren’t sure what kind. The scene shifts to the difficulties ex-football hero Laney is having paying for his sick child’s medical care, then to a mysterious creature that has been killing people in the woods, mangling them horrifically.

As the story goes on it becomes clear that the monster is a werewolf–which also explains the series title–and the two story lines come together in the end. I saw the ending coming a little too soon, but it was still an effective short horror story. It would be right at home in Dark Horse’s horror line (or even at IDW), where I probably would have been aware of it sooner. I’m happy to see that Boom! has the range to publish a story like this.

Hit - BoomHit: 1955
Written by Bryce Carlson, illustrated by Vanessa R. Del Rey

A four-part crime noir story set in Los Angeles in 1955, supposedly based on true events. Detective Harvey Slater is a member of a Hit Squad, a group of cops dispensing vigilante justice. He used to be involved with the femme fatale of the piece, Captain Blair’s daughter Bonnie. When she shows up needing help, you know there’s bound to be trouble.

In just four issues the story takes plenty of twists and turns, and has the requisite amount of sex and violence. Really good stuff, which should appeal to fans of Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips’ Criminal series.

Also includes a couple of “The Last Round” articles with the author’s commentary, and some fun faux period advertisements that relate to the story.

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