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Scooter – Alternative Comics Beat

Alt Beat

By Ken Porter

Scooter

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Written and Illustrated by: Brent Boates

You can park them anywhere

Scooters are one of the least likely modes of transportation for something out of the ordinary. Aside from the spotlight in FLCL, scooters are vehicles that blend in, don’t attract attention, and can be seen just about everywhere.

That’s what makes it so perfect for a creepy infiltration science fiction story.

In Brent Boates’ new comic Scooter, a strange being makes its getaway from a group of mysterious officials. While the entire comic book is silent, there’s a lot of motion and action felt through the artwork and the strange narrative that unfolds.

 

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Not your usual sci-fi comic

I love science fiction comics. One problem with anything in the speculative fiction genre is that it tends to be a little heavy on exposition or setting up the circumstances that brought you to the scene currently being enjoyed. Scooter throws you right into the action. Not only is there no exposition, there’s no dialogue period. It’s a silent comic that reads completely fine without the addition of narration, captions, or comments from the characters.

Why it’s a great alternative

If there’s one thing we don’t see often it’s a silent comic. I’ve talked about similar work by Jason on Cosmic Book News’ website before, but this book by Boates is a true silent story. It’s the kind of story that can make readers appreciate the sort of storytelling that only comics can achieve. The use of still images in a sequential format that builds a narrative from one panel to the next.

It’s a quick read, but it’s definitely different than anything that was put out by the big two this week.

 

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Who would like Scooter?

Fans of digital comics, creator-owned projects, and science fiction will really enjoy this little volume. It’s 72 pages of single panel storytelling, and it’s right in the same vein as stories like The Thing or Blade Runner. Anything that has to do with infiltration stories about the “other” taking hold in human society.

I don’t want to talk about the plot too much, but I recommend it to anyone looking for a great visual read during a cup of coffee or while enjoying another tasty beverage in their favorite reading chair.

Ken Porter also writes comic books including “Ink Ribbon” from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of last year’s Top Cow Talent Search contest and was recently published in “Artifacts” #33.

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Alternative Comics Beat: Tell Me Something

Alt Beat

By Ken Porter

Tell Me Something

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Written and drawn by: Jason

Published by: Fantagraphics Books

A silent film and a comic book have a love child

Until yesterday I hadn’t read any comics by Jason, but I’ve seen volumes on bookshelves at stores dozens of times. I picked up Tell Me Something on a whim this Wednesday, and after reading the graphic novella I can’t wait to read more. This volume reads kind of like a silent film with a couple of timelines running between the overall narrative. There’s little to no dialogue, and the story relies heavily on cartooning, expression, and imagery to tell the story.

This volume really did strike me as something different, and I read the book two more times just to make sure I got every little emotional detail and beat. It’s one of those volumes you can read over and over again, because it’s just such a fun visual reading experience.

 

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Let me tell you a story

Tell Me Something follows a pair of lovers through time as the daughter of a rich man falls for a poet that’s a bit of a rapscallion. Despite her father’s best efforts, the young woman pursues the relationship with the poet, but outside forces plan to do them in before their love can blossom.

It’s a classic kind of story, but Jason adds in his own flair that strays away from the norm and makes the twists and turns all the more fun to read.

The rest of the story has some unique twists, so I don’t want to ruin anything for someone that wants to rush out and buy this book.

Why it’s a great alternative

Writers like Brian Michael Bendis have a knack for heavy dialogue, but appreciating the lack of speech in a comic book can be just as important. It’s a great alternative for someone looking for a story that relies more on the visuals and pacing than combining it with dialogue and captions to move the story forward.

It’s also a great alternative in a visual sense. Jason’s cartooning and sequential art is fun, striking, and portrays a mood like a director can create in a film.

 

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Who would like this graphic novella?

Fans of slice-of-life comics, or more realistic stories would eat this up. Now I know that the characters in Jason’s books are anthropomorphic animals, but that doesn’t mean that their situations can’t be real and human. If you enjoy stories about star-crossed lovers, or comics that have a unique look and feel to them, then check out Tell Me Something by Jason. You might find yourself buying up more of his work than you anticipated.

Ken Porter also writes comicbooks including “Ink Ribbon” from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of last year’s Top Cow Talent Search contest and was recently published in “Artifacts” #33.

Read More about Alternative Comics Beat: Tell Me Something