Monday, February 7, 2011

MC2 Strip Tease

By Ryan Taylor, Laura Howell, Tony McGee, Giuseppa Barresi, and Nigel Lowrey.

As you can tell from the cover this is a preview book collecting two page samples of work by a number of comic creators in the midlands. The comics range from fantasy to sci fi to one page gag strips to survival guides, though there all pretty damn geeky.

Previews are tricky things to pull off. If you're doing a longer narrative do you just use the first two pages of your comic or do you choose pages from later on that more accurately show what your comic is about. One of the previews here really fails to show you what the comic is about at all, isntead giving you two silent pages of a kid leaving school, walking into a shop and picking up a comic. Ooooh, how thrilling, I definitely want to read more of this (end sarcasm). As it is I have no idea what this comic is about, or even what genre it fits into! As a preview designed to make me want to read more it has failed on pretty much every level.

Of the other previews there's a one featuring some half animal people in Texas (one of them seems to be a cowboy minotaur), one that has two girls scavenging junk yars in the future that seems interesting, two one page gag strips by Laura Howell (who's comics I've enjoyed before) that made me laugh out loud, and two pages of anime con survival tips that seem to be part of a longer work.

This last one was fairly amusing, but also horrifying. I remember I went to an anime con in Vancouver a few years ago (my friend got me in for free!), and the con booklet included tips like "bathe" and "don't touch people you don't know". I really have to wonder how socially incompetent you have to be to need tips like that. This also reminded me of the cat piss man who used to come into the comic shop where I worked, who had the worst body odour I have ever smelt. Ick! Nerds, get it together.

I'm not desperate to read the continuations of any of these comics, but two pages generally isn't isn't enough to grab readers. It's important to note that the two samples that I think worked most effectively were the two without a long form narrative. Something for creators to take note of perhaps!

(Art by Giuseppa Barresi.)

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