Published By Lightning Strike Comics.
The Irish comics scene is experiencing something of a boom period at the moment and small press collective Lightning Strike are a perfect microcosm of the scene as a whole. It is supportive, inclusive of creators at every stage of their development from just out to working professionally, features a wide variety of styles, is willing to claim international talent as their own regardless of how far removed from ACTUALLY being Irish they are and every once in a while they meet up and get really drunk together. Lightning Strike Presents… their 2000AD style anthology title was launched in September of last year and was well received despite the inevitable start-up and growing pains that accompany producing a title of that. So a year down the line how has the team progressed?
In terms of format issue #3 is certainly a move in the right direction. While Issue two certainly represented exceptional value for ones money – it was almost literally bursting at the seams- there was only so much you could take away from such a vast array of styles, ideas and events in one package. Anyone who remembers sitting through an episode of the latter days of CW Monday Nitro will know exactly what I’m talking about – so much happens in every segment that you end up numb to the whole experience and nothing ends up having any resonance whatsoever. Clearly the editorial team had similar feelings as Issue #3 features a new stripped down format which while loosing out on the “good value” stakes, more than makes up for it in other areas.
As far as strips go, the standouts in this issue come from newcomers. Luca Pizzari’s cover art is brilliantly atmospheric and his strip Spector (with its shades of Darwin Cooke’s version of The Spirit) has an almost cinematic quality to it. Latin American Pete Hernandez III offers up an abridged version of the supernatural thriller strip Status Quo. The art is excellent but becomes even more impressive when you find out that the man is legally blind. Plus in all fairness the idea of a vampire Russell Brand is far too delicious a notion to miss out on.
The only returning strip, A Clockwork Universe continues at its usual frenetic pace as writer Ciaran Marcantonio and artist Cormac Hughes seem to be producing a pilot for the worlds most complicated 1980’s cartoon. As a whole the package is well paced with just the right mix of off kilter humor, and serious pseudo science mystery amongst the five strips (although I would have liked to see a continuation of Monkey Of Oz from issue 2), and while there is still room for development, everything seems to be heading towards a happy destination.
In short Lightning Strike Presents Issue 3 is a tightly packed concise collection of short stories, which, while satisfying in the short term will leave you hungering for more. And as the gaps between issues becomes shorter and shorter, I can not shake the feeling that the Irish scene is closer than ever to having its own 2000 AD.
You can buy this comic at www.lightningstrikecomics.com
3.5 out of 5 nerds (Can you believe we don’t have a graphic for 3.5 nerds? So there’s a 2 nerds and a 1.5 nerds.)