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In Review: FutureQuake Issue 29

FutureQuake Issue 29 - Cover

The latest issue of FutureQuake – available online and on sale at various comics events across the UK at the publisher’s stand, see their blog for details – is another terrific anthology of stories from the cream of (mainly British) creators. Here’s what’s inside the 96-page issue – yes, 96 pages of comics goodness! – edited by Dave Evans and Richmond Clements, wrapped in a fantastic cover by Alex Paterson.

Here’s a quick rundown (or should that be big up?) of the contents, in order of publication. Overall, this is a smashing mix of strips, as you’d expect from this seasoned indie team, and well worth £6 of your Earth money. Echoing 2000AD of old, if only there was more of this on the British news stand. But there isn’t, so for those of us who are lucky enough to know about these terrific titles – go buy and enjoy!

Edited by Dave Evans, Richmond Clements, FutureQuake Issue 29 features stories from Derek Adnams, River Apparicio, Daniel Bell, Roland Bird, Marcello Bondi, Alec Charles, Rafael Chrestani, Matthew Collyer, Chris Connelly, Jack Davies, Marc Ducrow, Fred Francis, Chris Geary, Aidan Gilman, Russell Hillman, Mike Kalin, Michael Adam Kindred, Niall Kitson, Rafael Romeo Magat, Martina Marzullo, Alex Paterson, Tim Perry, Boy Phaff, JJ Robinson, Eddie Robson, Lee Robson, Matt Sandbrook, Kieran Squires, Jonathan Stevenson, Dominic Teague, David Tomas, Chris Tresson, Scott Twells, David Valente, Terrance Whitlow and Justin Woods.

FutureQuake 29: Hel comes to Baltitown by writer JJ Robinson and artist Alex Paterson

“Hel comes to Baltitown” by writer JJ Robinson and artist Alex Paterson

This issue’s lead strip is a roller coaster of a ride, involving alien dimensions, aliens, a trans-dimensional open top bus and the destruction of Nostalgia and Comics in Birmingham, thanks to an inept attempt to capture a super-charged smelly teenager in an equally smelly anorak.

FutureQuake 29: Hel comes to Baltitown by writer JJ Robinson and artist Alex Paterson

With echoes of the “Captain Britain” stories that featured in Mighty World of Marvel back in the 1980s, this is a superb lead strip (Part Two of a multi-part story), and Alex Paterson’s art is, well, just brilliant. Great storytelling, terrific figure work – everything just works, on all levels. Obviously, if you haven’t already, you’ll also have to buy FutureQuake 28 if you haven’t already, to have any hope of figuring out some of what’s going on – but since that was a great issue too, that’s no loss!

FutureQuake 29 - "Second Chances" by writer Alec Charles and artist Boy Phaff

“Second Chances” by writer Alec Charles and artist Boy Phaff

An ex-assassin who finds himself a target in this multiverse-inspired tale. Great fun, with a nice “Future Shock” twist ending.

FutureQuake Press 29 - Point of Contact

“Point of Contact” by writer Eddie Robson and artist Matt Sandbrook

I thoroughly enjoyed Eddie Robson’s “Ace Trucking Company” story in the 2016 2000AD Summer Special, but “Point of Contact” has a different edge to it, a black humour-tinged tale of an alien sent to study human society who begins to interfere in it. Deft pacing and dialogue, complementing Sandbrook’s art perfectly.

FutureQuake 29 - "Ghost Town" by writer Marcello Bondi and artist Martina Marzullo

“Ghost Town” by writer Marcello Bondi and artist Martina Marzullo

Death and deceit in the Old West.

FutureQuake 29 - "Murder He Read" by writer Ed Hollis and artist Jack Davies

“Murder He Read” by writer Matthew Collyer (credited to Ed Hollis) and artist Jack Davies

Perhaps inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s relationship with Sherlock Holmes, a nifty police procedural with a twist. A lovely homage to comic pulp strips from the team.

FutureQuake 29 - Prison Conditions   by writer Chris Tresson and artist Terrance Whitlow

“Prison Conditions”  by writer Chris Tresson and artist Terrance Whitlow

Time travel with a macabre twist as a prisoner in a future jail is taken on a tour of the past. Nicely realised with a terrific final panel.

FutureQuake 29 - "Men In Green" by writer River Apparicio and artist Marc Ducrow

“Men In Green” by writer River Apparicio and artist Marc Ducrow

The old trope of shape-shifting aliens gets a bit of a dubious updating. It’s a nice idea, but not quite my cuppa.

FutureQuake 29 - "The Healers" by writer Mike Kalin and artist Rafael Chrestani

“The Healers” by writer Mike Kalin and artist Rafael Chrestani

This is a cracking one shot tale, with a double twist as aliens come to Earth on a mission of healing. Great script from Mike Kalin and enjoyable art from Rafael make this one of my favourite strips in the issue.

FutureQuake 29 - "Sleeping Life Waiting" by writer Derek Adnams and artist Chris Geary

“Sleeping Life Waiting” by writer Derek Adnams and artist Chris Geary

There’s some lovely scenes in this post-Aocalypse tale with a Mad Max vibe, including the panel above. Derek perhaps tries to packs in a little too much back story to establish the central character and his undercover work, but it’s a poignant tale nevertheless, with some great art from Chris, whose work regularly features in Aces Weekly.

FutureQuake 29 - "The Happiest Dan Alive" by writer Russell Hillman and artist Scott Twells

“The Happiest Dan Alive” by writer Russell Hillman and artist Scott Twells

Ever have one of those days where you call even your best friend something completely different? Even though you’ve known them for years? Russell and Scott explain that mystery with this hilarious parallel universe inspired love story. Great script, compelemented perfectly by Scott’s loose but great art and storytelling. Quite why this pair of talented creators appear to have near zero web presence is baffling. They’re a great pairing. Perhaps they’re better known on Earth 616…

FutureQuake 29 - "Bait And Switch" by writer Fred Francis and artist Keiran Squires

“Bait And Switch” by writer Fred Francis and artist Keiran Squires

You can’t go wrong with killer sharks as weapons… or can you? Not one for those of you angered by the portrayal of sharks in fiction…

FutureQuake 29 - "Come Home" by writer Lee Robson and artist Justin Woods

“Come Home” by writer Lee Robson and artist Justin Woods

This allegory about the pitfalls of future medical discoveries – body swaps, mind dumps and more – could so easily be a great movie, but Lee and Justin made it a comic first, and deliver in style. There are some great action sequences from Justin and some quieter, emotional moments in Lee’s script. While the end is a little telegraphed, it’s an enjoyable, if heart rending tale.

FutureQuake 29 - "These Things Happen" by writer Dominic Teague and artist Roland Bird

“These Things Happen” by writer Dominic Teague and artist Roland Bird

While this story misses an opportunity by continuing after I think it should have finished – to deliver its payoff line – the art is top notch and there are some great lines as two humans on an alien world battle it out for survival from a strange and near undetectable disease.

FutureQuake 29 - "Sentience" by writer Jonathan Stevenson and artist Chris Connelly

“Sentience” by writer Jonathan Stevenson and artist Chris Connelly

When an android riot results in two dead, police start an investigation. It seems to lead nowhere – where is the robot killer? Stevenson and Connelly’s tale of robot revenge is a little uneven and perhaps overlong, but is peppered with some great lines and art to boot.

FutureQuake 29 - "Beyond The Machine" by writer by Boy Phaff

“Beyond The Machine” by writer by Boy Phaff

One of the best drawn strips in the anthology, this short sharp shock of a bomb scare with mind-blowing twist, with a tip of the hat to “Little Nemo” along the way, is one of the gems of this issue. A knockout.

FutureQuake 29 - "Slight" by writer David Tomas and artist Aidan Gilman

“Slight” by writer David Tomas and artist Aidan Gilman

A bizarre tale of family feuding in the far future… or is that the past? Impressive art.

FurueQuake 29 - "Post Mortem" by writer Tim Perry and artist David Valente

“Post Mortem” by writer Tim Perry and artist David Valente

David Valente’s art perfectly suits this grim tale from Tim Perry with its many promises of afterlife – available in many ways to the word of the future…. choose wisely…

FutureQuake 29 - "Unbound" by writer Niall Kitson and artist Michael Adam Kindred

“Unbound” by writer Niall Kitson and artist Michael Adam Kindred

With a tale blending Greek myth with the kind of aliens that would fit right into a “Jeff Hawke” story, this is one of the final stories in the issue – and what a great way to “book end” the anthology. Canadian artist Michael Adam Kindred is a real find (check out his web page here), with some great storytelling, and great line work – and Niall’s story is a gem. Definitely want to see more from this team.

 

FutureQuake 29 - "Child Star" by writer Mike Kalin and artist Rafael Romeo Magat

“Child Star” by writer Mike Kalin and artist Rafael Romeo Magat 

Almost rounding off the issue, another great story by Mike Kalin, very much in the spirit of 2000AD’s older “Future Shicks” with some mind blowing art from Rafael Romeo Magat. Another gem of a strip in a cracking collection.

Are you convinced to buy yet?

 

FutureQuake 29 - "Super" by writer Jonathan Stevenson and artist Daniel Bell

“Super” by writer Jonathan Stevenson and artist Daniel Bell

Rounding off this superb anthology is a one pager I’m not going to spoil here. Just go an buy the issue. Hell, buy the back issues! These folk deserve your money!

 

 

 

 

 

FutureQuake Issue 29, 96 pages, only £6.00 from www.futurequake.co.uk/shop – along with Zarjaz, Something Wicked and more

• Want a second opinion? Read the review of FutureQuake 29 over on Pipedream Comics

 

 

 

About John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative" who is currently working as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, editorial duties for various companies, and promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary, including DEATH'S HEAD II and WARHEADS. At Marvel he wrote strips for THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO and co-created SHADOW RIDERS with Brian Williamson and Ross Dearsley. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine, Star Wars Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine for Print Media Productions and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. He has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

4 comments

  1. Hi John- and massive thanks for the good review. We’ve taken a big ol’ gamble by changing format, but so far it is paying off.

  2. I think I last bought one of those in 2007… haha

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