Saturday, July 19, 2014

My review of TALES TO ADMONISH Issue #3, by Andrez Bergen and Matt Kyme. Love it!

Striking cover art by Andrez Bergen.
Tales To Admonish #3 arrived in my inbox late last night, courtesy of the rather awesome Andrez Bergen. I wasted no time messing about, and read through it at speed. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the two stories included in issue #3. With beautiful cover art by Andrez, story by same, and interior art by ace illustrator Matt Kyme, what's not to love? Another great release from IF? COMMIX, you'll be able to get your hands on this release in August 2014. Well, let's get to the review...

Issue #3 opens with Hell's Angel, featuring WWI flying ace "Wilks" Wilkinson. Searching the skies above the North Sea for an enemy zeppelin, Wilks makes his first mistake of the war, compounded almost immediately by his second. What mistakes, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you. Our intrepid flying ace makes the mistake of shooting the goddess Britannia, straight between the eyes with his Vickers machine gun. Not entirely his fault, of course, because why, exactly, should he be expecting a goddess to pop out of the clouds? None the less, that was his first mistake, and his day goes downhill from there. The second error comes as he's distracted by the first. Looking intently around for any hint of the perforated deity, Wilks doesn't happen to notice the very zeppelin he has been searching for, dead ahead... And he, of course, flies his Sopwith Pup straight into the side of the enemy dirigible (or, in his own words "I'd buggered a bloody zeppelin."). Unfortunately, he's now stuck, unable to go anywhere, and the zeppelin is starting to lose altitude. The German soldiers on board are quite miffed with Wilks, and are giving vent to their frustration by taking potshots at the pilot. To add to his problems, there is a very annoyed goddess hanging off the landing gear of his plane, and she happens to have quite a few choice words for Wilks. Evidently, deities don't take too kindly to being shot at by the machine guns of British fly-boys. Really, can you blame her? I'm sure that Wilks didn't imagine being in this situation when he signed up to fly for the RFC. However, I'm sure our dashing hero will find a way to muddle through the pickle that he's in..

Interior art of "Wilks" Wilkinson by Matt Kyme. Looks like he's having a bad day.

The second entry is a Roy and Suzie short (Yay!), called Hock, Flock, and Two Choking Carols. Our two intrepid investigators of the highly strange come across a partially disintegrated corpse (which also happens to be their client), and a strange piece of technology left near the body. Suzie, logical as always (except when she's not...), deduces that the tech is a disintegration ray, and of alien origin. The always sarcastic Roy is more worried about the state their client is in, and the fact that he's in no shape to pay them. Cue rather hilarious verbal infighting between the two partners. The two are excellent examples of the odd couple type. Can't get along, but can't operate without each other. Short, but sweet. Don't stop reading there, but continue on to editor-in-chief Syl's diatribe of the worst comic book villain... EVER! I'll not give away the identity of this most lowly of villains, but Syl compares the VIQ (villain in question) to Bennett from the Schwarzenegger action vehicle, Commando. A greatly humorous piece, and well worth reading.

Alternative cover art by Andrez Bergen. Very nice!

Well, now we get to the part where I tell you what I think about this issue of Tales To Admonish, and exhort you to go out and buy it. There you go, now you don't have to read any further, just buy the release... Sorry, all, but I'm feeling a bit whimsical after reading this issue. The humor had me laughing at the top of my lungs in many instances, and I haven't quite recovered. Hell's Angel is a visual adaptation of one of my favorite stories from Andrez's The Condimental Op (originally titled Victor Victoria, and if you haven't read it, here's a link to my review), which I've been waiting for with bated breath. The absurdity of Wilks' situation is to die for, and the way he takes things in stride, just adds to the fun. A definite love note to the Biggles series by Captain W. E. Johns (here's the bio for the series, if you haven't heard of it, and here's Captain Johns bio) there's action and humor left to spare with this story. Andrez's writing is top notch, and the visuals by Matt are, as usual, outstanding. The expressions on the characters face are especially priceless. Salutations to Andrez for dreaming up this entertaining story, and to Matt for rendering the art with his usual flare. What to say about the Roy and Suzie entry? Although short, this has oodles of humor, as well. I'm a big fan of the duo, in general, and this is another fun entry featuring my favorite odd couple. Roy's the "seen it all, and got a t-shirt" type, who's exceedingly confident in the field, and prone to discount his partner, because of her lack of experience. Suzie is the info geek of the two, and meanders between logic and whimsy, depending on the time of day. Both moods seem to grate on Roy's nerves, but deep down, he knows he can't get by without her. The two are absolute peas in a pod, although I'm not sure they're aware of the fact. Despite grating on each other's nerves, they both are more formidable as a whole. The story is short, but contains everything needed to be enjoyable. Matt's art depicts the dynamic of the partnership perfectly, and, once again, the expressions on the duo's faces are delightful. Finally, I want to talk about the extras included in the release, other than the two stories. The intro was very humorous, and the end editorial by Syl had me laughing out loud. The letters section is also recommended, if you want a laugh. The creators at IF? COMMIX are doing there best to give you a total comic experience, with all their releases, and I, for one, totally appreciate their efforts. Despite being a unique journey, the stories told contain the spirit of older releases, and are reminiscent of the titles I used to enjoy as a wee lad. Why don't you take a look at their work, and give these underground maestros your support? As far as myself, this comes with my highest recommendations, and I urge you to take a look at these quality stories. And hopefully, Andrez will do a graphic adaptation of A Woman of Some Sense soon, which is another favorite from The Condimental Op. Had to get that in there! Ta!

Interior art by Matt Kyme. Love Wilks' various expressions. It's not everyday that you accidentally take a potshot at a goddess, I suppose...

Here's the IF COMMIX site. Here's Andrez's blog. Finally, here's the Tales to Admonish FB page, enjoy. Swing by, and take a look around. There's a lot of great stories for you to discover... I'll sign off with that, happy reading, all! 

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