Three short collections from the UK indie publisher Accent UK
These three are all stand alone volumes, but they’re short so I’ll be reviewing them together. These books were put out by Accent Uk, an indie comics publisher that, along with their original series, regularly puts out collections like these which feature a number of short comic strips by various artists.
Each book is also arranged around a specific themes, the themes of the pirates and monsters books are pretty clear, twelve is based on the twelve labours of Heracles.
I bought these in the hope of discovering some great indie artists and writers and…I have to be honest. I was incredibly disappointed.
I started with the Pirates volume which is by far the weakest of the three, I don’t know what went wrong with this book, if it was the limited length the creators were forced to adopt, or if the theme simply didn’t provide much in the way of inspiration but the book was incredibly poor.
Too many of the stories seemed far too similar and several are cut short mid-action with “To be continued” statements that threaten that we’ll see the characters return in their own series.
Far too often, stories were complete non-starters or contained jokes that simply failed to get a laugh.
I was also disappointed with the art in many of the strips. While some looked fantastic the majority contained work by artists whose talents are still clearly in development or simply nonexistent. It was an incredibly poor book.
Twelve was a little better as the brief of adaption the labours of Heracles at least opens the writers to some creative interpretations.
Both the writing and artwork are improved ten fold but there are still some disastrously poor strips on both counts. Some of the strips also take the brief too loosely to the point where the original story is lost entirely.
Far too often, it also felt that the writers had chosen stores far too epic to tell in the space they had available. Three page strips given over to massive narratives that simply didn’t fit in, meaning the stories were rushed through to the point where the plot was utterly destroyed.
Monsters was probably the best of the three but was once again bogged down with the same problems, thought the hit/miss ratio was at it’s best. This volume contained some of the best art and some of the best stories thought the two didn’t always meet.
I really wanted to like these. I love indie comics and hoped that these would give me access to a wealth of undiscovered talents. Sadly though, it wasn’t to be. All three books were weighed down with problems and the majority of the strips were awful. Even at the bargain price I picked them up for (£1 each instead of £3-4) I wouldn’t recommend them.