Dark Matter II cover also by Chris Knapman

In Review – Dark Matter Issue II

Dark Matter II cover also by Chris Knapman
Dark Matter II cover by Chris Knapman

A 72-page anthology, written by Chris Sides (Whispering Sands), featuring artwork from:

    • Paul Moore (Planet of the Daemons), Charlie Hogg (Torsobear)
    • Chris Travell (Dark Matter), Randy Haldeman (The Jacket web comic)
    • Matt Harrower (The Kill Screen)
    • Jim Lavery (FutureQuake), Aljosa Tomic (Bloodfellas)
    • Dan Cornwell (Rok of the Reds) and Ken Reynolds (Cognition)

Created by Chris Sides and Chris Travell, Dark Matter II follows along the same vein as Issue One, telling dark stories in new and original ways with loads of great twists.

This is a book for adults, chock full of really interesting stories with a cycle of artistic style changes. After really enjoying the first issue this is another leap in quality.

I thought that I would pick a couple of my favourites in a comic that is all quality.

Dark Matter II - The Rollover

“The Rollover”
Written by Chris Sides. Art by Paul Moore and Colours and Letters by Charlie Hogg

This starts as what you might think will be a typical crime noir story –  then takes a number of genuinely surprising turns. As with all good fiction, it keeps you guessing from the opening scene and none of the protagonists get exactly what you expect or that they deserve. “The Rollover” is this sort of story that I can feel the writer relishing as he writes it.

Paul Moore has some absolutely outstanding line-work on this; I never felt this was a “Small Press” effort at any point. Charlie Hogg then lifts the whole piece with some great muted colour choices that are perfectly in pace with the writing and art. I could read stories like this all day long. Great stuff.

• Find out more about Chris Sides at chrissideswriter.com or follow him on Twitter @Sidesy1982
• Find out more about the artist Paul Moore at paul-moore.deviantart.com and follow him on Twitter @PMoore121
• You can find Charlie Hogg at charliehogg.myportfolio.com and follow him on Twitter @charliehoggg

Dark Matter II - Cerulean Sky

‘Cerulean Sky’
Written by Chris Sides. Art and Lettering by Chris Travell

A robbery goes wrong and a cop gets killed. Waiting for the bandit to escape town are a couple of highway patrolmen. What will happen next?

This is a story of betrayal and violence, told in widescreen. It is also a masterclass in pacing and sudden jumps of action and emotion. Chris Travell knocks your block off with some gorgeous art and colour work that gives this a dramatic reality. A real highlight of the issue.

• You can find more about Chris Travell on Twitter @travellsky

Dark Matter II - "Unspoken"

“Unspoken”
Written by Chris Sides. Art by Matt Harrower. Colours by Aljosa Tomic and letters by Ken Reynolds.

Wearing his influences of Jack Kirby, Jim Mahfood and Tom Scioli gloriously on his sleeve, Matt Harrower conveys a genuine sense of otherworldliness and tension to a story penned by Chris Sides, about a future and its game of high stakes with human life at risk.
Just absolutely gorgeous to look at and with an accompanying haunting narration this comes highly recommended. This story is worth the entrance price alone.

• Find out more about Matt Harrower at hpmatt.blogspot.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @hp_matt
• Have a look at some examples of Aljosa Tomic’s work at www.elance.com/s/voidexperiment
• Find out more about the comics machine that is Ken Reynolds at kenreynoldsdesign.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @kreynoldsdesign

Pin Up by Jason Miller with colours by Charlie Hogg
Pin Up by Jason Miller with colours by Charlie Hogg

Dark Matter is really turning into an interesting series of intelligently told stories. Credit is due to Mr Sides and Mr Travell who put this together.

The team on this book are now part of are part of Close 2 Immortality, a collective of writers and artists who joined forces in February 2016 in a bid to make a bigger splash at conventions and online with a “strength in numbers” ethos. They do not describe themselves as a publishing house, but rather as self-publishing projects through the collective brand.

• Find out more about this collective at www.close2immortality.com or follow them on Twitter @C2IMMORTALITY

Dark Matter II will be launching at MCM BIRMINGHAM on 19th/20th NOVEMBER and will include guest pin-ups from:
Chris Travell, Matt Harrower, Dan Cornwell, Jason Miller and Chris Knapman

Many thanks for reading.

Published by

Antony Esmond

Antony Esmond

Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer - his hips don't lie.

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