(New Worlds Comics, 2014)
A New Worlds Comics Close-up
Goof #4 and Wynter #3
Written by Guy Hasson
Art by Borja Pindado and Aron Elekes
It’s no big surprise that breaking into the comics’ medium isn’t easy. You may have one shot with a big company, you may not, but with the advent of digital media it has become much easier to publish your own work, without the help from the big two.
That has its’ pros and cons of course. Some books that may be too racy, too controversial, or just not “what we’re looking for at this time”, will appear on the scene. You can tell right away which of those books is good and which should have been left at the bottom of the digital pile, beneath those old short stories and the pictures of you in from middle school.
New Worlds Comics, on the other hand, are putting out books that are so good that they are being collected into print form, above and beyond their digital counterparts. Writer Guy Hasson has figured out the model for success in the small press. Currently he’s publishing Wynter and Goof, both digitally on Comixology, and the latter will be collected into a trade. Why read these books above all the other indies that are flooding the market? They’re good for sure, but they are also, both in style and story, completely different from each other.
Wynter #3 is out now. Liz Wynter lives in a future society that grows their children from a bank of mapped and re-used DNA. There are literally no original ideas anymore. If you commit a crime, the police know about it as it’s happening, because some iteration of you has done it or thought about doing it already. (Minority Report fifty years later.) Apps are not just downloaded to your mobile device, but into your brain, giving power to citizens that is just as confining as it is liberating. Liz has committed the crime of loading a randomizer app into her brain, and it has changed the matrix. Big Brother doesn’t know what she’s going to do, and that constitutes a good reason to eliminate her. The weird thing is, that even though Liz thinks she’s choosing randomly, is she? The app is telling her what to do…who controls it?
Alex works for said brother, but has relied on the information given him by the over-reaching intelligence for so long that when Liz acts in a way that is not known to him, it throws him for a loop. The random app makes Alex act like a cop for probably the first time in his genetically altered life.
I love this book, both for the dystopian future aspect of it, and for the intrigue that Hasson writes into each page. It’s a fascinating world. Oh, and art? He’s got art in the form of Aron Elekes. The style is ultra-realistic with a lot of dark tones. Shadow plays a huge part in the story, both stylistically and metaphorically, and Elekes’ captures that in the deeply shadowed images. He also incorporates the mechanical side to the characters as well (they are all hard-wired to a massive internet), by inserting diagnostic type readouts around the characters when they’re using the net. It all works well to blend the synthetic and real human intelligence that are the heart of the story.
Goof…on the other hand, is a totally different beast. This is a story that idolizes the goofy side of the “funny books”. Number four is a continuation as well as an elongating of the story that has thus far been lain out.
Nick Knickerbocker has been chosen by an alien race to be the savior of the Earth. Not without some misgivings, Nick has agreed to this deal, becoming Captain Gorgeous with often-disastrous results because Nick is the clumsiest, most awkward guy you know to the 10th degree.
This issue takes a little different route with Captain Gorgeous involved with saving a suicidal girl, but Hasson shows his writing chops by giving it the seriousness it deserves while at the same time using humor to get us through the rough patches. (There is a tickle fight that ends with broken parts…but so funny.)
Art on this one is done by the same artist that drew on Goof #2 and #3, Borja Pindado, who’s style would easily fit in with any major publisher. Every once in a while I see glimpses of Jeff Smith or Terry Moore, sometimes its like Pixar animation, and then I see something that I’ve never seen before. Whatever it is, I love his style and am certain I’m going to see more of it mainstream in the future.
I don’t know the business plan for New Worlds Comics. I don’t know what their model is. What I do know is that Guy Hasson is a writer of comics and a reader as well, and that makes a good combination. With the talents of Elekes providing brooding panels to Wynter #4, and Pindado goofing everything up (in the best way of course) on Goof #4, you have the perfect mix of the light and dark that make comics so fun to read.
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.