Free Comic Book Day is never just about free comics from major publishers these days, and 2019 was no exception as it included the release of a special “Taster Issue” of a new independent anthology in the UK – Bad Vibes Monthly.
Intended to be a bit of a platform for underground artists and writers, Bad Vibes Monthly, the work of Theodicy Comics founded by comic creator and musician Lee Christian, and the taster was distributed through various UK comic shops, including those run by Forbidden Planet International such as FP Leeds and Manchester, and Worlds Apart in Liverpool.
The taster is stuffed to the brim with fresh ideas and new characters to fall for – collecting together a ragtag bunch of new talent and a few names that hardcore fans might recognise, to create a smorgasbord of visual delights to stimulate your brain.
“Devil In the Detail“, written by Daniel Whiston (2000AD, Neroy Sphinx), lavishly illustrated by newcomer Douglas Howard, leads the taster, offering a path deep into the heart of darkness by way of some close contact familial demonic possession – visually or literally, it pulls no punches! The team hail the strip as “a potential indie comic classic in the making”.
“I think ‘Devil In the Detail’ could do for the modern Marvel/DC reader what The Crow did for me at the time I found it, open a doorway to a darker, more richly atmospheric world of indie comics.” Lee recently told Pipedream Comics in an interview about Theodicy Comics origins.
Perhaps you’d d prefer a sci-fantasy epic, set in a world without metal or aesthetic beauty? “The Plastic People Eater” is drawn by student artist Clara De Rambures – a story set in a far-flung future dystopia with script by Lee Christian and Natasha Skelton, who navigate their way through this inventive universe full of memorable characters and creatures, the likes of which you have never seen!
It even comes with its own soundtrack, musical accompaniment being part and parcel of the whole project… Expect a song a chapter from this, the book’s other regular serialised monthly story!
Lee Christian also writes the semi-regular story “The Deadbeats” which takes place in a world populated by horror creatures coexisting among humans, illustrated by Andrew Richmond. Lee’s riotous rock band Smilex have woken themselves out of hiatus status to provide the songs for a bunch of zombie high school punk rockers, who decide to form the titular band in an attempt at world domination, via a Hallowe’en ball Battle Of The Bands. There’s tease for the story in the new issue…
Also on offer is just a tease from “Tales from Gimbley” and “Rodney: The Premonition” artist Phil Elliott in the form of a poster for “The Dummy”, a new spooky, satirical one-off story from journalist and writer Michael Powell, who’s also keeper of the Why I Love Comics Facebook group.
Then there’s a “curiously diverse” selection of one page comic strips: “Omega 2.0 : Space Canteen“, a cute and cuttingly humoured slice of life from Natasha Skelton, drawn by Lux Vex, about canteen staff on a massive space station, which sounds about as glamorous as it turns out to be!
“Kenba – Galaxy Cop” is a hilarious regular strip from AE Double, about a hero who just can’t quit… well, more to the point no one seems to let him, whether it be potential new employers, or his clingy fans or obsessed villains. This taster issue has just an introduction to what should be a total riot!
Finally, there’s “Being“, a story by Nate Evans quite unlike any other shorts – it’s pensive, ironic and esoteric all at once!
With the first full issue set to launch in June, the FCBD publication is clearly just a taster of things to come in coming months, you can grab a PDF copy here, or you may find copies in some of the comic shops who have distributed the physical promotional issue.
The editorial team are teasing about plenty of other exciting people getting involved in the project and stories to come, but they don’t want to give the game away too soon about what else is in store.
“We intend to be a bit of a platform for underground artists and writers,” says Lee, “so we’re always open to submissions as we grow our ideas on how we can do an even better job of thrilling you all!
All art featured copyright respective creators