Tuesday, October 31, 2006


LAST KISS COMICS by John Lustig. I'm reviewing LAST KISS #2 here, it is available from www.lastkisscomics.com for $4.99 and see the site for postage etc....(I'm going to rate this comic right off the top of the review at *****. That's 5 out of 5 stars.) That's right folks a perfect score. How can that be you ask?

To tell you the story of Last Kiss I got this off their web site: In late 1987, Charlton Comics was selling off the rights to all its comic books. By then, most of the "good stuff" had already been sold. What was left were series and genres (war, romance, western and horror) that had little appeal to modern American comic book fans—most of whom were only interested in superhero comics. Despite that, I had a vague idea that it might be possible to do something with the Charlton material.

For $400 I bought all rights to First Kiss - a 40-issue romance series published from 1957 to 1965. I took a gamble and bought the series sight unseen. It was the series with the most issues for the least amount of money. And I pretty much got what I paid for - schlock!

Oh, it had some good art too - stuff by Dick Giordano, Vince Colletta, Jon D’Agostino and others. But Charlton paid the lowest rates in comic books to its creators and to make a living artists and writers had to churn out stories very quickly. Speed was more important than quality.
And so, despite editor Pat Masulli’s pledge to readers on the first page of the series, First Kiss fell far short of being "the finest of the magazines dealing with affairs of the heart." Instead, it was often shoddy and almost always quirky. Some stories (notably "Campus Crush" the first story in the first issue of First Kiss) don’t make much sense. Despite the now-quaint, 1950’s morality of these stories, there’s a nightmarish quality to many of them. Primary First Kiss writer Joe Gill was working much too fast to worry much about keeping characters consistent and logical. Anything can happen in First Kiss stories.
Well what it doesn't say is that then John Lustig a writer for Disney Comics and other projects added his own stories to the panels he bought, and calls it LAST KISS. This is some very, very funny stuff. At first glance I think people just think this is another romance comic, it is not. It is soo funny. So much so that Marvel even stole John's idea last year, and did a series of comics making fun of their old romance books. They did hire John to write some of them so that was cool. But you just can't beat LAST KISS for being a laugh out loud funny comic. And John has notecards, and other items on his site you don't want to miss!
LAST KISS #2 has a funny color cover, 50 black and white pages of comics and a contest where readers wrote their own balloons to some panels, and letters, an interview, and more! You'll see: "Widow Ms. Muffet" which is a brand new story with new art from Dick Giordano! "Royal Romance"- Also drawn by Giordano! "Oh, Darling! You're Such an Animal!"--Selling pets door-to-door inked by Giordano! "Date of Last Resort" --grand prize winner in the reader contest. "Love Stinks"-First place in the reader writing contest. "The Ugly One"-Is this the strangest romance story every created? "Remember to Forget Me"-Art by Vince Colletta Studio! (Except for the contests everything is written by John Lustig.)
I also have #3 around here somewhere and all I can say is get these books before they go out of print like #1 did!!
Also John has over 2,000 names on his mailing list. Email John at: john@lastkisscomics.com and ask to be put on his mailing list. You'll get a full color comic strip in your email every week! Join the fun! A free laugh out loud every week, who could ask for more? Not me. (And John swears to not sell your email to anyone or give it out to anyone so you can be safe and secure there.)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Twilight the Battle of Spiritual Warfare #1 and #2

Twilight the Battle of Spiritual Warfare #1 and #2 is a comic by Germaine Webb with lettering by Jason Bullock. From the web site: "The saga begins for John when he is shown information by an relative who is a scientist working on a top-secret military project for the government and is later murdered. John Fonts is so sucked into a secret war that has been going on before the dawn of man. After the sudden death of his cousin, police detective John Neal is unwillingly dragged into a world of spirits, angels, and demons, a world where the very fate of humanity rest on his shoulders."

If you check out the web site you can see most of issue #1 and some of issue #2. The story and art and lettering is a bit amaturish needs polishing. The art is sparse with not much as to backgrounds and the style is very anime looking which is OK in itself but here it needs to be more evloved and thought out. The story was slow in progressing and had some holes in the plot (Someone losing their key card (for instance) while running away is too cliche.) and needs more punch. I really think it is beneficial for creators to show their work around as much as possible before getting it printed. You really want to show your best, highest quality work. If your art and story needs work you should keep making changes to it, no matter how drastic to keep improving. Once you take your pages to a comic show and get some great responses I'd not go to the expense of printing the books. Showing them online is great as long as it is used as a learning experience. Take all the input you get from the pros, take notes and apply as much of it as you can to your story and art. Also have someone proof read your lettering. Show it to as many people you know with good English skills. Let them take the pages if you know them well enough, and let them mark on some copies, and then make sure you correct your mistakes. There is a blog area on their site http://airgrafstudioneo.moonfruit.com I invite all the readers of this Newsroom to post your comments there. You can tell that Germaine is very serious about his work and from what he has told me he would love to have some useful comments to help him progress. I must admit I read the story of #1 from his website and have not actually held the comics in my hands so I can't completely review the books as far as printing quality and other book design elements. If I do receive the books in the mail I'll post up a complete review. I believe issues #1 and #2 are out and you can order them onine HERE. Cover prices are $3.25 eash, and printed by Ka-Blam! I believe. (From what I see here I'd have to give this series a STARS 1 & 1/2 . That is 1 and 1/2 stars out of 5 with lots of potential if Germaine keeps striving to improve while creating more comics. The color could have added another dimention to the art but it looks mostly flat and rushed. Just more things to consider in the future.)

Sunday, October 29, 2006


WALKING MAN COMICS are mini comics by Matt Levin. He has been producing these little poetic comics with stamps for years! This is from a press release he sent me: Walking Man Comics Celebrates 10 years of Monthly Mini-Comics. This February, Walking Man Comics celebrated 10 years worth of mini-comics publishing, a new twelve-page issue every month since February, 2006. Walking Man publishes two titles, usually alternating months, WMC PRESENTS SPECIAL, observations and speculations on life, including death and magic, and MUSICOMICS original songs concerned with life, love, and loss, the world, and its ecology.

The goals of WALKING MAN COMICS have always been "imagination, elegance and wit," but the hallmark of the mini-comics has always been that the artwork is most often created with the use and manipulation of rubber-stamp images, sometimes enlarged or reduced to create the effects of perspective, long-shots, close-ups, and movement; sometimes integrated to create new images from two or more stamps used together; sometimes reversed, just to have an image travel the proper direction.

I found this interesting: Of the hundreds of rubber-stamp companies, only two dozen have been able to grant me permission to "reproduce their images electronically" (i.e., print them--), which has put a tight limitation on the images I have to work with --approximately 180 stamps with which to picture the universe. An additional challenge the past two or three years is to keep it interesting, at a point where it no longer matters how these are composed, they're just good comics. (I'm surprised that the other stamp companies didn't want to be promoted for free like the other stamps he does use. Or even hire Matt to do some advertising mini comics to help promote them, etc...)

Matt puts out: MUSICOMICS (#1-56) and WALKING MAN COMICS PRESENTS SPECIAL(#'s 1-57). Matt claims to be "comics' hardest-working poet."

Matt sent me WALKING MAN COMICS PRESENTS SPECIAL #38, and MUSICOMICS #13 and #45. I've always loved Matt's unique work, I find it takes you to another place for a while, a nice floating world all its own. Send him$3.00 for 4 of his mini's to: Walking Man Comics, 123 Elm St., Hatfield, MA 01038. (These are the best poetic stamp mini's I've ever seen, since no one else is doing this to my knowledge! *** 3 stars out of 5. Ok, I'd prefer to see artwork but you must admit this is original!)

PALM READER #1 (of 4) and VICTOR SEASON #1 (of 6)

PALM READER #1 (of 4) and VICTOR SEASON #1 (of 6) are by Angry Gnome Comics, Shawn Gabborin and Stephanie Adams. PALM READER #1 was my favorite of the two, the story had me drawn in and I was curious as to what was going to happen next. A good sign that the writing is well done. The art is all in pencil and reproduces well, but the artist Stephanie needs more practice and study with figures and perspective. This is a very promising start but she should get some books and really study more, all the straight ahead views are boring and she also needs work on page design. If she stays with it she will hopefully get a handle on all this. Her shading of everything is very nicely done but studying how light plays off of people and things will also help in the long run. The story is continued so I have to give this a **1/2 - 2.5 out of 5 stars on everything that I see here. If the art was better and helped the story along more I'd of rated the book higher. I would like to see the future issues of this title to see how this story progresses and to see if the art improves.

As for VICTOR SEASON #1 the story and the art left me cold. A lot of what I said for PALM READER applies here as to the art, but the story for VICTOR SEASON was not as good. The dialog was stiff and I didn't believe the characters. (If a curse was on the town and an evil being was killing 9 people every year in the same few months, would they stay there?) Shawn should read out loud the script and see if it sounds right. The 2 page backup story was drawn so badly that I was too distracted to figure out if I thought the story was good or not. If it was done darker with some closeups here and there, and more work on the figures who are out of proportion, there could of been something here. The cover to Palm Reader was dramatic and made you eager to check out the book where as the cover to VICTOR SEASON #1 was very busy, it had dramatic elements but all that copy from the newspapers should have been toned down as it is fighting for attention with the figure with the knife. (I have to give VICTOR SEASON #1 a ** 2 out of 5 stars. Both books show potential but they should have shown their work around at comic shows and gotten feedback before taking on the task of printing costs etc.... ) Keep working S and S and I'm sure you will get to the point you are striving for in comics. Both books have very little information on ordering, they do have a $3.00 price on the covers and this email address: angrygnomecomics@hotmail.com so send $6 and I'm guessing $2 for postage ? to: Angry Gnome Comics, 311 Linden Street, Vandergrift, PA 15690. Order their books and send them some constructive input, help them improve!

Friday, October 27, 2006


Press Release from King Tractor Press:
If you haven’t checked out these two gruesome horror comic books, DEVIL WATER # 2 and FAMILY BONES # 2, then it’s a great time to take a bite. The release of #1 was featured on
television, radio and in newspapers around the country and UK; including Kansas City Star, Mancow radio, and the front page of the St. Joseph Press newspaper. We’ve put up a website for those who’d like more info and preview of the pages. http://www.kingtractorfilms.com/Previews.html (The King Tractor boys are sending me some issues to review so keep your pants on until then! --AF)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

MIGHTYGUY #1 and #2

MIGHTYGUY #1 and #2. Ok, I just talked about Tim Corrigan's books but heck, MIGHTYGUY is so zainy and wacky and fun I just had to show you this ad that was in the back of Fred 'n' Marvin. (Click this ad for a larger view.) Anyway, there is a very long new Fred 'n' Marvin strip in Slam Bang #1 vol III with me in it! (Shameless plug: Tim is interviewed in Slam Bang #2 vol III.) That can be had here:Fan-Atic Press visit the "STORE". Anyway please buy Tim's comics so he will be inspired to make more. I have the first volume of this series and I'm putting my Check made out to Tim Corrigan in the mail today for MIGHTYGUY #2! As sure as the sky is blue. Bluish yellow. Or pinkish orangish purple. Ok the sun is going down. (***** 5 stars out of 5 for MIGHTYGUY #1 as I have read it cover to cover and loved it.) Did I mention that Tim Corrigan got a Lifetime Achievment Award (Plaque) at the SPACE Con in Columbus Ohio earlier this year! Watch Him Accept the Award and then Watch Him Drawing MIGHTYGUY.

Tim Corrigan's FRED 'N' MARVIN Volume #1

For only $8.95 you can get a color cover, square bound, 100 black and white pages of Fred'n'Marvin volume #1. What a deal! Tim Corrigan does all the work here, writing, drawing and publishing! Page 1: "Our story opens somewhere on the first page of a comic book...probably the first panel..." Hahaha! Fred and Marvin are publishers that do comics about a superhero called MIGHTYGUY. MIGHTYGUY does appear here and there in this fine book but the focus is on the publisher and the artist of the comic company. They are pretty crazy by themselves. (I have to give this ***** 5 stars. Mostly because any comic that has Slam Bang mentioned on it's back cover no less than 4 times has to get the highest reivew! Seems that I somehow inspired Tim to do a bunch of these strips for my Slam Bang anthology in the 80's and early 90's. Go figure!)

Send $8.95 + $2.00 shipping for the massive Fred'n'Marvin #1, or send $16.95 + $3 shipping for the 200 page MIGHTYGUY Graphic Novel #1. Or how about $8.95+$2 for the all new 100 page MIGHTYGUY #2! Whatever you decide to do, send the money to: Time Corrigan, POB 25, Houghton, NY 14744. Ask him what else he has for sale as he has lots of great stuff! Tell him Small Press Newsroom sent ya! Coolness.....

The Wang (The Big One) #1 & The Wang #2 by Stan Yan

The Wang #1 (The Big One) and #2 (Who's Your Daddy!) by Stan Yan. Woooo, nice work here for sure! Both issues are comic book size, about 90 pages each, $9.95, with color covers and square bound. Black and white interior art that is super fantastic all around! From the inside cover of #1: The Wang is supposed to be a graphic story about my son, Eugene Wang's "Coming-of-age" --his graduation from college and subsequent entry into the world of business. But what you hold in your hand is a pack of lies perpetrated by Mr. Stan Yan! I raised my son to be a strong, upstanding young man--not the sack of tripe Mr. Yan illustrates. Granted, he does a good job of portraying those hussies that prey on my son, but I don't have words for how appalled I am by the godless acts perpetrated in this book...and how old-looking he draws me. Shame on you, Mr. Yan--mark my word, you will burn in Hell for this!--Sincerely, Selma Wang, Mom. So how can you not buy these books? Really great art and story in both issues! (*****5 out of 5 stars for each) $9.95 each + $1.99 shipping for one or both for $19.90 + $2.99 shipping, in the usa. Get them here: The Wang #1 and #2 Tell 'em where you saw them, yeah, Small Press Newroom.

Romantic Eye #1 and Glass Eye #1

Romantic Eye #1 and Glass Eye #1 by Blind Bat Press (Mark Innes). Romantic Eye #1 is a full size comic with full color covers, 38 bright white interior pages in black and white. This comic anothology has some fantastic contributions by creators such as: Earl Geier, Jim Siergey, Henrik Rehr, Ron Kasman, John Migliore and Larry Blake, Gord Pullar, Cav Bogelund, E. Epp and Dave Collier and Bernie Mireault. Publisher/Editor Mark Innes sure knows how to put out a great comic book! He's been doing it for years! Heck I even did a color cover painting for one of his books back in 1989, (Wavemakers #2, buy it!) yeah, I'm old. In the back of this issue is a great article about how Mark Innes has worked in the movie business as an extra! Cool stuff! Glass Eye #1 is a full color cover comic with 38 black and white newsprint paper interiors. This is also a great anthology comic with work by such creators as: Bernie Mireault, Alan Barnard, Earl Geier, Larry Blake, Jim Siergey, Ron Kasman, Rick Taylor, Mark Innes and John Migliore. Anyway check out Blind Bat Press for info on how to order these fine books and find out the other great stuff they have for sale. And as always tell 'em Small Press Newsroom sent ya!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Haven #1 by Making Comics Studios

Haven #1 by Making Comics Studios (MC) came out about a year ago but since Christopher Moshier is a friend of mine and works for Fan-Atic Press I had no choice but review it here for him. (OK, I wanted to.) This is a 20 page story (25 with other items such as a look at the cover to #2 and a 2 page spread art page in color showing more.) comic in full color. Created and Written by Christopher Moshier, Pencils by William C. Jamison, Inking by Yul Espinosa, Coloring by Cathy Harford, Lettering by Jay La Valley. I really like the story and the art does improve as the story progresses. This chilling future (What If) story of how the world powers could change everything as we know it is well worth buying. I've seen some of the pages from the soon to be released 2nd issue of HaVen and it is even more powerful. There will be improvements in the art and the coloring as well. Get on this series and find out what the future could bring if things continue at their current pace. (3 and a 1/2 stars out of 5, the story is worth at least 3 stars by itself.) Cover price is $2.95. Visit www.havencomic.com and www.makingcomicsstuidos.com for info on how to purchase issues #1 and #2 and find out what other comics writer and publisher Christopher Moshier is up to! Tell him Small Press Newsroom sent ya!

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Place to Distribute Your Small Press Books.

North West Zine Works is a nice little site run by Caroline Tigeress that will review your books for you and sell them too! Check out the site and find out what you need to do. They will buy 5 or so of your books at a discount price and post them for sale on their web site! Tell them that Small Press Newsroom sent ya!

Tacklebear and Barko the Stickdog #1

Tacklebear and Barko the Stickdog #1 is a full size comic, color heavy gloss covers with 34 pages of black and white comics inside. Taklebear and Barko are some simple fun loving characters and this book is mostly aimed at kids but everyone will like it to some degree. The book is by long time cartoonist Dean LeCrone. I met Dean at the San Diego Comic Con in 2003. (We hook up now every year at the con. He is a great guy, funny, and creative. Last year at the con we spent every day all day almost shooting interviews with me on camera and Dean doing interviews. More news about this very funny DVD to be out in November later.....) This comic doesn't have a price on it but from the web site at www.tackleandbarko.com it says: Send $4.00 in a check or money order made out to Dean LeCrone and send to: Sourdirt Comics, P.O. Box 502074, San Diego, CA92150-2074 And ask Dean about some of his other fine books like the Doc Smith mini comic or Digest book! (I rate this book ****, 4 out of 5 stars. For me that is. If I was a kid I'm sure it'd be 5 out of 5.) The art is well done and it's a very fun read!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

COMET TALES #18 (Rocket Graphics)

COMET TALES #18 (Rocket Graphics). I've been getting Comet Tales for years in the mail from Jim Pack a long time contributor to small press comics and a frequent publisher. Most of the time the story and art by Jim, but this issue was a bit different. It's an all text story (you know like books and stuff from the library, come on you remember the library! Sheesh....) by James M. Pack called "The World the Spacers Made." 28 pages and a nice sci-fi story. Try it you'll like it! Jim also put in one of his three page comic stories in the back called "Leave it Behind" that is also nicely done. It was reprinted from "Oh Comics #6" but that was from 1993 so no problem with most of us having seen it before. Unless you have been a fan of Bob Corby's publications. (I'll talk about that another time.) *** (3 out of 5 stars since there was no inside cover or back cover, just a blank page. Ok, the inside cover could be blank, that makes it look like a real book so that's ok, but no back cover? Call me next time and I'll send you something!

There is no price on the book. There is an address on the title page so write to: Rocket Graphics, 787 Bay Harbor, Maineville, OH 45039 (Send a couple of bucks to get this issue #18, and ask about his other publications. Tell him Small Press Newsroom sent you!


Ka-Whump! #1 is a true classic digest small press review zine. I like this a lot and that is why it is my first review on this BLOG. Robert L. Sumner aka Floydman sent me his first issue and it is a 12 page digest with a parchment paper stiff stock cover. Great production values. The cover is very nice and I think Floydman drew it but not sure. The book is published "whenever I feel like it" says Floydman and that I can sure understand in this biz. There is a nice intro page, then we get into "The Small Press Observer" with some grreat news items, then the "Co-Op Corner" where we see some groups that we could join and get even more exposure for our books. "The Rentinal Scanner" is the review area and has a Mini Comics, Digest Sized, Mid Mag Sized, Standard Comic Sized and Magazine Sized area of reviews! Whew, nicely done. He has a 5 eyeball rating system also. The last segment is "And So It Goes..." a wrap up of his goals for the mag in the future. Nicely done! (Plus there is a small ad for my Slam Bang comic, woooo.) Inside covers are nicely laid out full page ads. Back cover is a full page ad for a Yahoo Group: "Small Press Palaver" that I'm also a member of. * * * * (4 stars out of 5, I'd give 5 if it had more pages, I want more!)

Send $2.00 (Includes shipping) to: Robert L. Sumner, PO Box 1523, Depoe Bay, OR 97341. You may also get a very cool, nicely printed mini catalog of all of his works as well! Tell him "Small Press Newsroom" sent ya!

You Provide the NEWS!

That's right folks this is all about you so you have to do the work. No more sitting on your ass! Get up off the couch and send me your Small Press Comics News! Get noticed! Get the word out! Get someone to order your comics! All you have to do is send me your stuff via my email address fanaticpress@yahoo.com and I'll see that it is posted on this site. I'll put my spin on it sometimes but basically it'll be what you intended to show the world. Send me a web size image of your cover and an interior page and a short description. Let me know who worked on it etc...and how they can get ahold of you and buy the comic. See how simple this is?

And if you want me (Allen Freeman) to do one of my exclusive reviews of your work mail your mag, book, comic or anything you create that has a comic in it to: Fan-Atic Press, 3106 Dade Cove, Owensboro, KY 42303. Again, nice and simple. I've been creating and reading small press comics since 1983 or earier and I have a feel for what I like and don't like and I'll be honest and constructive with my reviews. I won't trash the stuff, I'll mention what I don't like and I'll bring out what I do like. Sometimes people can take it either way but I'll set up a 4 star rating system or something. I'll be fair. So if you want me to review the book send it on, if you just want to plug your publication that is fine too. Just do it! All that hard work needs to be seen, and this could be your first step in getting some sales or just another one of your crazy, ingeniously cheap ways to spread the word.

--Allen Freeman (From here on known as "-AF")