WORDS: Dave Elliot, W.H. Rauf
ART: Barnaby Bagenda, Jessica Kholinne (The Weirding Willows), Rhoald Marcelius, Sakti Yuwono (Carpe DIEm), Garrie Gastony, Sakti Yuwono (Odyssey)
BUY IT: from your local comic shop
FREQUENCY: #1 & #2 (of 6) / Monthly
THE BLURB: The new monthly from creators Dave Elliott, Barnaby Bagenda, Garrie Gastonny, W. H. Rauf, Rhoald Marcellius, Sakti Yuwono and Stellar Labs.
The exciting return of the award-winning graphic anthology series, this time in a new format. Three great on-going strips:
Weirding Willows, by writer Dave Elliott and artists Barnaby Bagenda, Sami Basri, Sakti Yuwono and Jessica Kholinne, sees the worlds of Wonderland, OZ, Neverland, Mars, Pellucidar and Elysium leak through portals into the little English town of Willow Weir, as Alice and her allies defend her world from the things that would come through those portals to destroy them!
Odyssey, by writer Dave Elliott and artists Garrie Gastonny and Sakti Yuwono, follows an immortal military superhero, out of place and time, who finds himself in the middle of an eternal war for mankind between Angels and Demons!
Carpe DIEm, by writer W. H. Rauf and artist/creator Rhoald Marcelius, follows an offbeat group of the world's seven greatest assassins: one for each day of the week! Their leader is always a Sir Mondaybut the rest of the team always hate Mondays! A riot of colour and concepts in a Tank Girl vein.
Comes with 3 covers to collect!
OUR VERDICT: We love a good anthology, and A1 is definitely shaping up to be just that.
Originally an award winning series created by Dave Elliott and Gary Leach in 1989, Elliott has teamed up with Titan Comics and various artists from Stellar Labs to bring three new, exciting and very weird stories.
THE WEIRDING WILLOWS
This is probably Geeky Girl Bimpe's favourite of the three stories. It sees a steam-punked Alice In Wonderland mixed with The Island of Doctor Moreau and Wizard of Oz - amongst a few others - in a brilliant fairytalesque concoction.
The story places emphasis on well know literally characters, namely Alice, and her father Dr. Moreau, who is creating flying monkeys for the Wicked Witch, who also happens to be joined by Dr. Jekyll. If these cameos weren't enough, The Jungle Book's Mowgli also makes an impressive appearance, as well as our favourite suit wearing rabbit, and yes he's late.
These first two issues are really captivating, and so far this mish-mash of literally icons works really well. It is made even more enticing by the artwork and colours of Barnaby Bagenda and Jessica Kholinne. However it is a bit distracting trying spot the different character that have been thrown into the mix. But this element definitely opens the realms of possibility for the story.
This is definitely wacky comic storytelling at its finest.
Carpe DIEm follows a group of secret agents who are named after the seven days of the week.
They are led by the very strange 8th Day, an oddly slender character with a sharp suit and a giant eight ball for a head. His assistant is none other than Jude, a Koala dressed as The Beetles Sergeant Pepper.There is also a running trend which sees Sir Monday - usually fearless, cocky and very gung-ho - getting himself killed in action. These scenes are enough to have you chuckling.
W.H. Rauf's story is witty, fast-paced and all kinds of great. Visually it looks amazing, and it's almost as if you're watching an early morning cartoon. We really would love to see this on TV.
Sadly this is probably the weakest in the anthology. Although Dave Elliott's story is strong, it bears too many similarities to the origins of Captain America. While the artwork is bound to encourage this comparison, so far the story hasn't done much to dispel this notion.
However, the nice twist to this World War II tale is that it centres around the occult, and unlike Mr Steve Rogers, this super soldier isn't afraid to go bit berserk.
This story definitely has the potential to become something special, so fingers crossed Elliott has something up his sleeve. Only time can tell.
A1 is fun, smart and definitely a great read. It already feels as if six issues won't be enough. The Weirding Willows is probably the stand out story and its literally crossovers are more than enough to entertain. Any story that manages to feature Baloo and Bagheera definitely has our vote.
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