One of the real pleasures of Stumptown Comics Fest was catching up with creators. Some are local and we run in to them fairly regularly, while others fly in from across the country, making Stumptown our only chance to meet face to face. It was a pleasant surprise when I saw the Neil Brideau was going to make a return appearance. It was even more surprising when he shoved a copy of Alpha City Comics in my hand. I had been waiting for the second issue since devouring the first issue at Stumptown last year. It was worth the wait!
Last year’s Alpha City gave me one of the best reads of the convention. Dancing Larry was the stand out story of the anthology, so I was looking forward to seeing what Brideau and his partner, Kevin Sciretta would come up with this time.
The format of the book was the same as the previous installment: A main story that is split in two parts, and two shorter stories in between. And, as with the first volume, one of the shorter stories stole the show!
Alpha City Comics #2 opens with the story Nightmare Town. It is a genre-bending tale involving a high-tech manhunt for a cyborg who has escaped from the authorities and is hiding out in Nightmare Town. The eastern half of the town is controlled by biological mutants (people who have by choice or not ended up with a visible mutation) while the western half is controlled by the robots, androids, and cyborgs. Needless to say, the two sides of the town do not get along and keep to their own. Tracking the escapee will require skill, technology, and more than a bit of luck. What could possibly go wrong?
The second story featured the return of Dr. Raccoonicus. This story seemed more than a bit pointless. I understand that Dr. Raccoonicus is a bumbling idiot, but this story did little to move that point forward or present it in a new manner. Hopefully next issue will have a different story, or take the character in a new direction.
The third story was the real winner. Century Repair and Supplies is a quieter piece that shows the daily life of a down on his luck repair shop owner. This story allows both Sciretta and Brideau to really show of their characterization skills. We know more about the main character, Eddie, in just a few panels than we learn about all the other characters in the book combined. I would LOVE to read more about Eddie and his life in the repair shop.
The final story wraps up the first. It is ia satisfying end that allows Brideau to cut loose with the mayhem and insanity of a full on war between all the characters. It was a blast to read and a pleasure to look at.
All in all, I have to say that the second installment of Alpha City Comics was even better than the first. While Dr. Raccoonicus was not my favorite, the rest of the book was strong. I hope I don’t have to wait another year for the next issue. Do yourself a favor and find an issue! If your comic shop does not have one, ask them to order one!!!
You can find out more about Alpha City Comics at www.alphacitycomics.com
You can find out more about Neil Brideau at http://ohboycomics.blogspot.com
Kevin Sciretta needs to get more of a web presence if he wants me to link to him.