Vast Expanse #2
An Anthology, by Jeremy Scott Nichols and Various Artists
Review by Christopher Bishop
Vast Expanse is another anthology comic published by Township Comics. Just like the previous offering it gives us 4 unique stories in the similar five page per story format as the previous issue. The cover art for this issue felt very pulpy, which is great feel for the various shorts encased within its pages, which all have a pulp noire touch to them
The first story, A Shadow in the Steeple, does an excellent job of touching upon a Lovecraftian feel. The artwork is bright despite this and yet still manages to give us a minor creeping dread within just five pages. The art style felt very much like what if “Archie met Lovecraft” for an evening, which set the tone the author was reaching for I feel.
The second story, Fruit of the Braidtree, is a Weird Tales worthy jaunt through what one can assume is less civilized times. The central character is trying to collect a rare fruit from a tree, but finds it will be a much more difficult task than first thought. What is really interesting about this short is the way the author found a more peaceful solution in a barbaric time. I am not sure if that was the intent but the story is very enjoyable to read and the artwork certainly tells the tale well.
The third story, The Audience Performs, was my least favorite of the lot. The artwork was well done but the story was for me at least kind of irritating. However, once I took time to think about the subject matter it dawned on me that the author was trying to convey both the irritation and non acceptance that some folks will have towards the arts. After spending sometime analyzing my own thoughts about this, I am forced to change my first opinion to one of appreciation. The whole point of the story was to give voice to the concept of art taking on different meaning for different folks, and it did it very well
The fourth and final story, Jody Ash is Your Gal, is a straight noir affair worth of any old black and white serial. Jody Ash is a hard nosed gumshoe that protects a clueless dilettante from an ex lovers murderous intentions. The art work definitely invokes the style of the 1930’s while adding in a modern twist as a female is cast into the role of gun toting, chain smoking savior. An enjoyable addition to a great issue
Overall, Vast Expanse #2 is very solid sophomore issue from Township Comics. I really enjoyed my time with this issue and it will certainly be on my radar for future productions.
I give this issue a solid A!
Keep Rolling Them Bones,