Thursday, 26 June 2008

Hubris #6 review


Well it’s been a while between issues, although any comic reader they will simply scoff and cite Daredevil mini-series by Kevin Smith or Ultimate Hulk vs Wolverine as examples of delays. So how does the latest issue of Hubris measure up?

Well in terms of print quality it can’t be beat. 32 pages of US format comic book for £1.50 with a nice glossy cover and heavy stock interior. Arguably one of the best put together fanzines you will see. Sure something like Spaceship Away has the card cover but it’s about four times the price. (Can you tell I’m Scottish?!)

The cover is all Graham’s work as he uses Masterpiece Megatron as the basis for a suitably moody cover picture. I’m reliably informed it won’t be the only bit of art we will be seeing from him. Which is always welcome.

What about the contents?

Well it should come as no surprise that Hubris has continued along the same lines as before with a mix of comic strip, text stories, reviews and text features so there should be something to appeal to everyone. Instead of aping the old Marvel UK “TransFormation” page Graham has went for a new look which is very clear and uncluttered, there is the familiar Hubris PCB pattern at the top of the page.

Kicking off the magazine is All In A Day’s Work a two page comic-strip written by Josh Van Reyk (who handles the Mosaic project over on the IDW boards), lettered and coloured by Graham and drawn by me. Now I’m not going to review this, as that would be ego stroking but I just wish I’d done this after the animated series had started to air so I could have gotten a better handle on the characters. Still the story is nice and breezy and Graham’s colours are as lovely as always.

Booting Up Cold takes a look at the various starts to the Trans Formers printed incarnation from the Marvel comics, to Dreamwave through to IDW. Although sadly no mention of the true continuity i.e Ladybird (and no Ralph didn’t make me type that). Like Graham I do think the Marvel approach was the strongest and the first twelve issues do read like they could make one damned fine trilogy of movies. I could go on at length regarding my feelings towards the Dreamwave era but I shan’t bother.

From reading the comics and Graham’s article it’s clear that Marvel introduced the characters to the world. Whereas IDW’s approach doesn’t really seem to be geared towards new readers but to older ones. Using a lot of shorthand when introducing characters and giving them just as little attention as when they were introduced in the marvel line and counting on reader familiarity to fill in a great deal of the blanks.

Timecode starts up again with The War Without and we can see this alternate spin on events post G2 as becoming even darker. The characters are managing to be somewhat more unpleasant than they normally are without going all evil alternate reality beard on us. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one continues.

The Harvest is a suitably creepy tale as we see that some of the other Decepticons covet the nanomachine powers of certain members of their ranks. The ending does rather leave everything unresolved so I wonder if Graham plans on revisiting the tale at some point in the future as I am certain that Soundwave would not allow those assaults to go on unpunished. Especially knowing that he could potentially be next.

Hold Tight Iacon was the highlight of the magazine for me, both chapters were equally engaging. Browning’s usage was splendid and such a great idea for an assassin. I’m curious as to how that angle is going to play out. The second chapter has Blaster being much less of a dick than he will eventually become, so it’s a bit of a shame that we see him at his best knowing full well what the future holds.


The A-Z commentary is a nice touch and thankfully we still get a proper a to z on the back page and with some splendid art by Matt Dallas to boot. Always good to end on a high!

The reviews were a nice bag as well covering a good mix of toys, comics and cartoons.

Well was it worth the wait?

I think so and I am looking forward to seeing more issues later this year.

Hubris #6

The latest issue of this excellent Transformers fanzine is out now for £1.50 for 32 pages.

Ordering info can be found here

Friday, 20 June 2008


The other day there was some banter on The Hub (nothing new) about the upcoming Auto Assembly and Zudobug suggested that perhaps we could have something to identify the Hubmembers and suggested a cap with Hubcap on it. A splendid idea thinks the Hubmeister G and myself so between us we agree to do the illustrations for it.

A few emails were bandied about between us until the design was settled on. A quick search of Botch's Box Art archive for a reference pic and the above image was pencilled on A4 card.

A quick scan in photoshop and the image was converted to blueline and printed on another sheet of card and then to inking with my faber castell pitt pens and my pentel brushpen.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Review: Dogbreath #18

I'm a big fan of 2000ad's Strontium Dog and pick up Dogbreath produced by those chaps at Futurequake. It's now on it's 18th issue, which just popped through my door this morning.

It's A5 44 pages with a full colour wraparound cover for £3.00 (postage and packing will set you back £1.00). Nice glossy cover and suitably weighty paper stock courtesy of BG Marketing who've printed it.

Predominantly comic strip based with some reviews of Strontium Dog stories from 2000as as well as the Rebellion collections of the series. There is one text story with illustrations provided by former Strontium Dogs artist Nigel Dobbyn.

As you would expect from a fanzine the mileage you will get from each story is going to vary. Thankfully there is a good mix of done in one stories as well as ongoing serials and a few of the teams use the Strontium Dog premise and focus on all-new characters, while others favour using classic characters such as Johhny Alpha, Wulf Sternhammer and The Gronk.

The absolute highlight of the issue is Sun and Moon: Hunters of Bounty. Which features a mutant Sun and Moon hunting a giant rabbit in a sleazy dive called Warrens. The artwork by James Feist stays on just the right side of cartoony and the script by a chap called The Emperor is at both turns camp and sinister. I'm not sure whether continued tales of these two would be up to scratch but as a one off it's superb.

Berserker is a serial by Richmond Clements and Steven Hills focusing on Wulf Sternhammer separated from Johnny Alpha and trapped on a warworld 500 light years away. It's the second installment and so far it's been solid if unspectacular. The art is suitably moody and violent but so far the threat of this warworld doesn't seem as bad as some of the things Johnny and Wulf have faced in their regular tales in 2000ad.

Desert Tail by Eric Moore and Steven Denton has Johnny, Wulf and the Gronk on vacation on Earth and get tangled up in some problems with Sand Sharks. The art is bang on for this story but the tale is pretty inconsequential and also flies in the face of what is established regarding Strontium Dogs being allowed to operate on Earth.

Shadow of The Mutant by Alec Robertson and Bruce McLaren sees a trio of SD agents tackle a mutant leader called Visionary Lygate. It's the first part of a series and is readable enough but so far none of the characters really stand out too much.

The Most Amazing Thing is the text story by Richmond Clements with Nigel Dobbyn providing illus and features Sam Weasel joining up with Wulf and Johnny for a one off tale. Very enjoyable, Clements has an ear for Wulf's dialogue and the story zips along to a happy ending for once.

Interval by Eric Moore and Gibson Quarter takes place during the 2000ad tale The Shicklgruber Grab where Johhny and Wulf bring Hitler forward in time to stand trial before the Committe for Ultimate Retribution. It has Johnny and Hitler bounced out of time and ending up in the 1970's in the Top of the Pops studio where they are mistaken for Sparks. The art is nice, the story is only two pages and while I can see it's intended to be funny, falls far short for me. Though as humour is entirely subjective you might laugh at this.

There's a wee mini-poster in the centre pages as well.

So all in all what do I think. If you are a fan of Strontium Dog you'll probably enjoy this and think it was decent value for money. For the casual punter it might be worth getting a shot of someone elses first for a wee look see.