Matt Garvey Double Feature

Image result for prey for us #1 matt garvey

Matt Garvey is back at it folks!  We’ve got a GARVEY DOUBLE FEATURE this time around with Prey For Us #1 and Untitled Generic Space Comedy #1!

We’ll start with Prey For Us.  This is conglomeration of sci-fi rolled into a very nice looking package (thanks to J Francis Totti on the visuals).  As we jump right into things it is clear that our situation is dire.  Everything is wrong and there’s no knowledge of why.  What we do know is that we’re waking up in a stasis pod that’s crash landed on an unknown planet.  Our man character is separated from everyone (or anyone else that has survived) as well as the ship.  Thankfully there are locators and both a second stasis pod and the ship are on the planet as well.  We’ve just got to get there.  With little gear to make the trek, we’re off on a strange planet looking for other survivors and answers.

It is a quick driving narrative that gets us from the crashed stasis pod to the second pod and then on towards the ship.  There is a very clear danger presented during our journey.  Something is out there and it is smart.  Without diving into deep exposition or flashbacking a backstory and set up, our story is given enough meat to make us care about the bones (such as the personal interest in finding out what’s happened for our main character).  We don’t need too much as the setting and situation drive the initial hook that pulls into the true issue at play.  The lack of narrative and reliance on visual storytelling works wonderfully.  Realization playing out over panels and pages that allows the reader to fill the void of narration is almost always more powerful than being fed the feelings.  We’ve got that here.  Other than some inner dialogue from our main character it is the panels doing the telling.  There’s bullet point steps (talking with onboard computer) that do some filling in but mostly it is a “here it is, let your mind wander” approach.

The narrative take does well with the palette chosen for this book.  It is a very bright draw of blue and green that very loudly screams of how alien this planet (and situation) are.  The foreboding mood is elevated with the unnatural look and feel of everything.  By the time we make it to the ship and we’re given the “oh shit” moment of the book we’ve become beyond uneasy with where we are.  That’s the point here.  Prey for Us #1 is a nod to the sci-horror stories we love because they use US to help tell their story.  With the build and impression you form before being given the last bit of information, we’ve got an excellent first issue!


Untitled Generic Space Comedy, issue #1, cover, self-published, Garvey/McFarlane, cover by Rob Guillory

Our second book, Untitled Generic Space Comedy, is a foray into different territory for Matt.  With UGSC we get a comedic romp that is all sorts of inspired and homage paying to pop culture itself.  To borrow a phrase from pro wrestling, this is a SMARKY book (in the good way).  It knows exactly what it is and loves being so.  It doesn’t apologize for being off the cuff AND on the nose with what it borrows and what it alludes to.  For that alone it is worth the read.  Fortunately for us  Matt can do comedy as well as he does his other books.

For me the book works because, at its heart, it is a relatable human tale.  Your everyman (Jim) is just tired and fed up of simply, being.  Even with the backdrop of being human in a galaxy full of sci-fi fantasticism we’ve just got two dudes wanting more and being bored of the status quo.  This is where Matt’s point blank take on telling his stories shines.  Yeah, there’s an entire universe that needs at least some framework here but he doesn’t dawdle with exposition dumping and long arching backfilling of story.  Nope, the point is that these dudes are space truckers, this takes place in a sci-fi set up, and the boredom of the bummy bro duo is what’s going to set us off to adventure.  There you have it and that’s all you need to appreciate the plight of these two.

The sci-fi backdrop allows Garvey to pull from a huge swath of references and jokes.  He does so with ease and manages to make the comedy work seamlessly.  Nothing seems forced nor does it come across as pandering to the reader.  It works because of how well he’s written Jim.  He’s the main vehicle for both aspects of the book (the actual story as well as the comedy).  Great choice as he’s put forth as this lovable not quite loser type of guy.  So much of him relates and resonates it almost works to well.  Added to the excellent portrayal of the “guy you knew growing up that made all the wrong choices but you loved anyway” are John McFarlane’s art and Allison Hu’s colors.  They’ve combined for the perfect look here.  It isn’t overly cartoony but absolutely lends to the comedic tones of the book.  The palettes go hand in hand with the “ugh” feeling from Jim but also have a vibrancy that you’d expect from a setting that includes all sorts of alien beings and fare.  The action plays out very well visually too.

In typical Garvey fashion this book ends with a perfect execution of making you want more.  Jim’s “ho-hum” looks to be getting revved up as the two are set for quite the departure from their norm.  I’ll be along for the second installment of this one.

Do yourself a favor and : Click to head over to Matt’s shop and get the goodies yourself!

Driving Forward

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Here’s a peak at CREATOR DRIVEN efforts to help in #DrivingCreators in 2019!

Jim Kersey 
His lovable robots, the AMOK BROS have been a passion project for Jim for years.  An excellent comedic piece, this strip is going daily!  Jim has also been putting out, on his own, the Useless Future Anthology.  It’s pocket sized perfection for your reading pleasure!  He’s been featured in works such as the Unlawful Good, Death Saves, and Source Point Presents.

5 Meats Comics
The folks over at 5 Meats have a bonafide hit on their hands with Mashbone and Grifty.  Critically acclaimed even, this romp is one hell of a fun ride! Don’t take my word for it, check out what The Comic Book Yeti has to say!  This year the next three issues are on tap.  Be on the lookout for the continuation and make sure to nab the first three issues!

Digital Comics

Jeff Martin
Jeff is making a weekly webcomic about demons who work in the office that runs Hell. It’s called Hell, Inc. I mean come on, how much more fresh of a hell can you get than that? It is comedy gold thanks to being filled with so much of what gives us our own little slice of hell each day. There’s more to Jeff so poke around his site!

Weekly Strip

Ovation Comics
We here at the I-E have known about Ovation for a while now and are very excited for their new project Infinity Agents! This one will kick off FEB 6th! Our buds over at Lyonsden hitched onto the MASQUE Kickstarter this last year. Ovation is developing a nice corner of the indie scene. Give them a look!

John Ward
Ok, this book sounds fantastic.  A guilt-ridden tattooist discovers her clients are being possessed by the tattoos she gave them.  Whoa!  This is indie horror personified folks!  He’s also got a book hitting the shelves in FEB!  Take a peek around his site and explore.

Comic Info

Blue Bolt Comics
These folks have a webcomic about Candles living in a dark world that need to light their wicks to see, but risk melting in doing so. Quite the juxtaposition found in The Life of Nill. Currently they’re getting VOL 1 of the webcomic wrapped up for everyone! Head on over and give it a read.

Torey Nelson
We’ve got us a space fantasy comic entitled Dark Age from Troy. This one looks very promising. Galaxies in peril during a time when science and sorcery has seen the line between them vanish? Yeah, we’re in. The first full length chapter is set to be out in the first quarter of 2019 but there’s a prologue mini-comic to be read!

There are two books being worked on currently here.  Symphorians and Love Evolves.  The first is about hope for a better future.  Our choices weigh heavy on our world and we can do better.  There’s always room for books with a positive message!

Todd Black

How often is it that when you come around to hearing about an author, they’ve already got a series that’s TWENTY issues in?  That’d be the case with Mr Black here, at least for me.  His flagship title, Guardians, already has twenty issues out in the comic world.  That’s insane.  Hell, Marvel and DC can’t get a title past 12 or so it seems ….

… but more to the point, Todd’s ability is on full display with Guardians.  It’s a superhero book, kind of.  It’s much bigger and much deeper than that though.  The conventions you’re used to are tossed out the window.  Then there’s HOME, which uses very real aspects of today’s society and social misgivings to twist a tale of a girls just trying to get home … or is she?  He’s also got the GN 10,000 miles which features two kids that have always done the impossible and vow to do that again once more before the change of life tears them apart.  That’s not all there is to Todd though.  The man has pumped out THREE Sherlock Holmes novels as well.  Head on over and give the man a moment of your time.

Keep track on Twitter: @Guardians_Comic
Dive into his site: Guardians Comic

Jeremiah Schiek

His passion started out like it does for many people.  A young kid figuring it out with his own ingenuity.  10yr old Jeremiah decided to give it a go by folding construction paper in half and lighting it up with robots.  That spark has kick-started a full on fire for comic artistry and writing.

One of the most notable things about Jeremiah is that he’s not only already built a solid base of projects, but the breadth of those projects is impressive.  Sci-Fi, historical, classical, and even a little outlandish tale can be found in his work.  Not one to sit on his hands, he’s already collaborating with other INDIE creators to push out projects.  He’s even signed on with Stewart Brothers to produce an original graphic novel about the early life of King Tut.  Most recently he’s started work on his own project entitled @starshipcaptain76.  The man has traveled and he’s been educated.  He even does some art professing at the college level as well.

Check out his work on his site: jscheick
Follow him on Twitter: hushronin

Mario Candelaria

If one were able to catch Mario during a brief moment between his Ric Flair like Jet Flyin, they’d be all the better for it.  The larger than life personality is fitting of the man coming from Brooklyn.  Though he’s from the City That Never Sleeps he doesn’t miss out on life’s little treasures.  A comic creator and comedic writer, Mario infuses this personality into his work in one form or another.  His works exemplify this.  
Two musically inspired anthologies showcase the diversity of feeling in Mario’s work.  27 (Red Stylo Media) is focused on the 27 Club of musicians/performers that rocketed to stardom but died way too soon at the age of 27.  Baroque Pop (Red Stylo Media – Kickstarter by Mario), on the other hand, is all about inspiration and success after finding solace in the music of Lana Del Rey (to boo, the book was formatted at 7×7 to resemble a 45rpm record cover).  From there you can dive into a real world depiction of inner turmoil in ASHES.  The book highlights a man that was on the rocket upward in life only to have a tragic accident threaten to take it all away.  Then there’s EPILOGUE.  After having not seen each other for a decade two former lovers have a chance meeting that forces them to reflect on things and then reconsider their futures.  Mario has also had work featured in anthologies centering around crime, noir themes, the music of QUEEN, and professional wrestling.  
This isn’t an exhaustive list of Mario’s work.  
Head over to his website: theothermarioc for even more insight on Mario Candelaria. 
Get engaged on Twitter @TheOtherMarioC