Dan Butcher, Tony Esmond & Vince Hunt are the masterminds behind The Awesome Comics Podcast but the trio have taken the extra step of getting an anthology together with a whole new story each.
Individually they’ve already dazzled readers (me included) with their own comic titles but with that in mind and the obvious chemistry between them on the podcast, this anthology was naturally built-up to be something special. That hype was more than enough to get me scrambling for a copy as soon as it became available with a feverish need to read it that would normally be reserved for the biggest mainstream issues and with three stories to jump on-board with…..I was keen to see how they would shape up….
Murder Road by Vince Hunt and Daniel Marc Chant
First up is a horror tale from Vince & Daniel that oozes a Steven King vibe to it from the beginning in a story of the road between two American towns and the teens that race their cars on it in the name of rivalry & status. Sounds simple enough but add to that the mysterious black vehicle that embodies the curse the locals know about all too well and it begins to break away from a story that could have been bogged down with too many clichés. It does have some but the spark from the visuals Vince weaves through it helps make this a high-paced start for this opening issue.
Cockney Kung Fu by Tony Esmond and Nick Prolix
The next story sees Tony pour his crude mind onto the page as Red Sista swaggers her way through the sub-cultures of 70’s London in all it’s garish glory. The single-minded Red is equally comfortable dealing out her own form of order with a sharp tongue or a right hook and she doesn’t really seem to mind which but there’s a solid start in this two-part opener that sees a similar momentum to the first story. Nick’s art is a perfect balance to Tony’s script as the cartoony world takes the edge off a rough diamond and the brutality of the action & language become just as much a part of the story’s overall style. Slick as fuck!
Vyper by Dan Butcher
The third story sees Dan take on writer/artist duties as he does on his own title Vanguard. He brings us the tale of a secret task force named Vyper that’s been set-up to tackle crime in secret while local law enforcement try & keep tabs on everything that’s happening in their own city. Things are all intertwined though and it’s soon obvious that the twists & turns in the plot are being expertly juggled alongside the action-movie energy that he’s already proven he can produce time & again. The main players are a recognizable mix of characters but the energy in this story packs a punch across the pages and keeps a solid momentum even through some of the more word-heavy moments.
This all ends up being a solid start to a new anthology and while some of the hype was drummed up from the success of the pod-cast itself the stories do their own talking. The styles and themes are all very different but it’s a mix that works well given the overall balance to issue one as they reflect the character of their creators. Looking forward to issue two and the hope that they can sustain this awesome by name & awesome by nature approach!
You can get hold of this first release from the team over on their online shop now. You can also catch-up with the Podcast over on the website and keep updated with what else the team are working on over on the Facebook & Twitter pages.
You can also check out what the team are working on over on their Twitter pages too:
Dan – @VanguardComic
Tony – @Ezohyez
Vince – @jesterdiablo