This is a forum to discuss IDW, Dark Horse, and other independent comics.
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By E Deploribus Unum
#893
Okay, Comicsgate finally has real, tangible product to critique. I received Richard Meyer's (Diversity & Comics) second IndieGoGo project and Splatto Comics first release Iron Sights today, and ... well, it's a disappointment, I've got to say.

Meyer received these from the printer months ago, but because he was packaging and mailing them all himself, it took all this time to get them out to the backers. I must've been right at the tail end of the list. Glad he finished the job, but there are surely better ways to print, pack and ship comics. I can think of one (**DARK LEGION**), but it's entirely possible Meyer's book wouldn't even have qualified for the DL label. All its product to date has been far, FAR superior to this.

So what did I get for US$32? Well, the book is B&W with tones, roughly 120 pages (not numbered). The art is amateurish. If he's relatively new to the form, maybe there's long-term hope for Ibai Canales, as sometimes new comics artists progress by leaps and bounds. Alternatively, if he's already taken a few years to get to this point ... well, sorry, it's just not good enough. Every Arkhaven book in print currently is leaps and bounds ahead of Iron Sights both artistically and in terms of presentation and professionalism. Backgrounds are minimal, characters are off-model frequently enough that you often can't tell who's who, and Canales shows no real grasp of storytelling or sequential art. There were pages when I simply couldn't figure out what was happening.

Part of the problem may be Meyer's script, which in places cuts back and forth between scenes to the point that you don't even know where you are anymore. The other problem is the lack of color, which makes it next to impossible to distinguish similar-looking characters from one another. And there are plenty of those. (Clarity in B&W comics IS possible. Charlie Adlard on Walking Dead has no problem making it work, but his art is tight and his characters distinctively modeled, whereas Canales' is loose and scratchy enough that there are times I couldn't tell a rifle sight from a drainpipe, and all his blond men looked like the same old guy.)

Back when I ordered IS, I had watched more than a few D&C reviews of Marvel comics. Meyer's stern critiques of sloppy SJW pap fooled me into thinking he might have the chops to produce something superior. He certainly seemed to know bad when he sees it. That said, whatever made him think this book was him putting his best foot forward is a bit beyond me. He's obviously been reading those blood-soaked, profanity-filled early Jason Aaron Vertigo comics (I can't remember the series now -- some Indian reservation thing), because the random, pointless foul-mouthedness taints every second panel. Considering that Meyer keeps his language fairly clean in his YouTube videos, that was a surprise.

All in all, I'm glad I didn't throw major money at the project. D&C's sniping at Arkhaven has not been on the 2VS level, but it's certainly been regular enough that I would have expected him to produce more professional work than this. How is this in any way an improvement over whatever it is Meyer doesn't like about Arkhaven books? I don't get it.

If Iron Sights is at all representative of what Comicsgate writers and artists can be expected to produce, Vox and Arkhaven absolutely did the right thing by putting major distance between the brands. Here's hoping Red Rooster is a more mature and fully-realized project.
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By Vulcha
#896
I'm glad I didn't support any of the Comicsgaters now. Admittedly, I backed the Cyberfrog Chromium edition but 2VS showed his true colors with Comicsgate logo fiasco a day later. I pulled my backing right after that. Had he not done that I would have probably backed several of them.
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