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Edison Thomas Saves the World #1 (One Shot)
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/04/2016 15:43:20

Edison Thomas Saves the World Staff: Kevin Hill

Overview: A fun, if not flawed, pulpy super-genius comic.

Review: Today I have “Edison Thomas Saves the World” from Hyperactive Comics. It’s presented as a one-shot comic about a 19 year old super genius battling a inter-dimensional being. Without saying any more about it, let’s jump in!

Art: So this is actually done by a trained hand... I think. It’s definitely not high enough quality to call it “professional” but you are not left visually guessing at what’s going on. It really harkens back to the old pulp style comics that were popular in the golden and silver age and I love it. Very clean lines, thick strokes, etc. There are the occasionally poorly drawn panel, facial expression, or the like but on the whole it’s decent.

Now there are some serious technical issues that a little experience will fix. For example, a lot of this looks scanned in or drawn by hand. When you have something like that in a digital format, you need to clean it up. For example, if on page 3 of the PDF you look at the bottom right panel you can see the strokes from where it was filled in. This can be easily fixed by doing something like selecting black’s color range in a program like Photoshop, then doing an auto-fill to replace it with digital black (same can be done for white too).

Layout: In addition to that this comic suffers from a lack of professional layout standards. For example- the edges of the bounding boxes of each panel doesn’t quite line-up with each other. If you are going to offset panels- do it for a reason. This is just sloppy work that something like a ruler could have fixed.

The dialogue balloons are passable, if not a little cramped at time (never let your text touch the edges). Text within dialogue balloons should be done in a vaguely “diamond” shape so it best fits in the shape of the balloon. They remember to do that on occasion but just as often seem to forget and cram words into the balloons.

There are also a few odd capitalization errors (example: page 6 of the PDF has this line, “My Patented “Steel Jacket Restrainer” should keep him out of Trouble!!”) as well as some grammar errors (“one of his arch nemesis...” should be “one of his arch nemeses” for example).

Now one thing I want to talk about are the onomonopias. They are a mess. So, in comics, an onomatopoeia is unbounded text which is rendered in such a way that it is reflective of the sound being made (having a burning noise illustrated as if it were burning, having a “pew pew” of a laser gun look scifi, etc). It should be drawn into the comic by the artist (inker) rather than added in later by the person doing the layout. They can use the shape of the words to indicate the kind of sound, it’s direction, and where it is originating from. We get some REALLY poorly done ones in this comic (like the “Balooey!!” on page 1). They are able to produce a good one later on (page 16 of the PDF) so it confuses me why they are so poor at other times.

Writing / Story: The dialogue is stilted. My frequent readers will note that I have a special, soft, spot for campy or pulpy comics but this doesn’t fall into that category. It’s just bad. They lay out the plot in dialogue- a major sin in comics. Remember- comics are both a visual and literary medium. You can use one or the other as a substitute for its counterpart. When a hero punches out the villain you don’t need him to say, “Wow! I knocked him out with one punch!” at the same time as showing it and that’s exactly what this comic does. It’s just panels of expository dialogue explaining what is going on in the panel.

The plot itself serves to set up Edison Thomas and his supporting cast. The first part of the comic does a good job establishing the rules of his universe. Shakespeare this is not, but it tells a coherent story and as a one-shot whose goal was to establish the character for use in a larger cross-over initiative it does it’s job. Edison Thomas (not to be confused with Thomas Edison or anything) fits snuggly into the super-genius archetype ala Reed Richards, Dr. Quest, Hank Pym, etc and has a gadget for everything.

The second part is more concerned with dimensional obliteration. They do a fun bit with an alien world and their culture. I will say that they do some pretty big logic leaps and treat Edison’s intelligence as something of a omni-solution, pushing him awfully close to Gary Stu territory. See, the danger with that is that one could fall into the “a wizard did it”/ ”techno-jargon” kind of story telling. The reason we like to read “smart” characters (like Holmes) is because we get inside their heads and at the end they reveal how it was done. Without that pay off, the protagonist might as well have just said “abracadabra” and the problem was resolved. Like we are never told what a “buffer zone field” was and why it resulted in an “impenetrable sphere of solidified matter” or even what the enemy’s power really was (other than that it “drew power from the atmosphere”).

The second part is far better than the first- really telling a very “big” story in just 20ish pages, even if the story is told with just the broad strokes. To be honest- I kind of liked how it was told. If we got too much into the details it might have bogged it down. There were some parts I wished they’d explained a bit more (as mentioned above) but overall it worked.

Overall: Ultimately... if this wasn’t free I wouldn’t recommend it. However, as a free little comic, you could do worse. It gives you a big story in a small bite. It’s not going to change the world but it’s got heart if nothing else. Give it a read if pulpy super-genius stuff is your thing.

Metrics: -Art: 4/10 [Not pro but you can get by with it] -Lettering/Layout: 3/10 [Some issues, but nothing that makes it unreadable] -Plot: 4/10 [Interesting enough for a one-shot] -Novelty: 3/10 [It's all been done before]

Overall: 3.5/10

Review from indiecomicreview.com



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Edison Thomas Saves the World #1 (One Shot)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review Scotty! This story was created 14 years ago and I would like to see you review one of my newer books as a lot of the points you bring up have been corrected with experience and technology. Thanks again! Kevin
Crunch: Revenge #1 (one shot)
by Scotty G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/08/2013 10:28:16

Crunch: Revenge

Staff: Kevin Hill

Overview:

Pulpy action goodness.

Review:

So opening up this comic I realize that it is actually the third comic in a set rather than the first (which I normally review) but I was quickly drawn in by the fun quirky style it had. So despite this not normally being the typical review I do, let jump into Crunch: Revenge!

So launching right into it, the art is awesome. It’s got this quirky 80s metal/punk aesthetic going on with some more modern tweaks. I got to say, despite it not being professional grade, it’s damn good and has a style all its own. The lines are crisp, the anatomy (however distended) is generally consistent, the artist displays an understanding of dynamic poses that allow his characters to be as expressive in pose as dialogue (very important for a visual medium), and the displays of motion are fluid and informative. Special not should be given to the perspective some of these shots are drawn from. If this was a movie I’d be giving the director of photography a high five for his excellent work. There are a few awkward facial expressions and poses, but all and all it’s a lot of fun.

The lettering could use some work. Some times I couldn’t tell who was speaking due to the placement of the speech bubbles but I could sus it out generally after looking at it for a moment. A lot of time the lettering is pretty close to the edge of the bubble and that can be a little distracting. They should probably stick to their typically lettering or have the artist draw headline text rather than switching to some other font, it just looks sloppy (see page 8).

The plot is nothing new and that kind of disappoints me a bit. However, when I look at the genre it is going for (pulpy action stuff) I can’t really blame it. Pulp thrives on the known and shines in the execution of said existing story elements and in that context this story gets high marks. In the same way the dialogue is hokey but I can’t tell if that is intentional (al Venture Brothers style) or accidental. Either way it works. I mean we have a vertically challenged main character named “Crunch Crakerton”, how serious can you get with the dialogue?

Overall Crunch: Revenge is a party. It’s a pulpy action comic that doesn’t shy in the face of being as hokey and chock full of anachronisms as possible; in fact it revels in it. I mean the hulky hero has his shirt torn off by page 12 after bantering back and forth with an ex-lover turned villain. You can’t do something like that without going headlong into it. If you half-ass it, it would come off as either a bad parody or knock off of something greater. In this case, Crunch not only jumps in feet first, but it does so wearing it’s puply-action colored speedo.

Metrics

Art: 6/10 (Not publisher grade but very fun)

Lettering: 3/10 (Slip ups and issues)

Plot: 6/10 (It does the pulpy action bit well. I liked it.)

Novelty: 3/10 (Nothing new, but keeps it fresh enough)

Overall: 4.5/10

Review from: http://indiecomicreview.com/



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Crunch: Revenge #1 (one shot)
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the review! Even though The Adventures of Crunch Crakerton, Crunch: Fight and Crunch: Revenge make up the Crunch Trilogy all 3 books have separate story lines. They are designed to be enjoyed without reading any of the other books! Thanks again!
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