[Since jumping into comics crowdfunding in March, I’ve received 12 projects in paper form. Some have arrived digitally, but I’ll wait until the paper copies arrive because I’m that type of luddite. This “Year in Review” will catalog each one…and I promise to be done by New Year’s Eve!]
And whaddya know…we did it with one day to spare!
Did I save the best for last? Perhaps, definitely one of the best of the lot on every level…which is strange, seeing as I’m finding myself growing weary of spandex heroes, caped crusaders and other hero books.
Thing is, Michael Pickard’s Duck-Bill #1 isn’t a hero book, not in the classic sense. Yeah, Duck-Bill wears a costume. A strange one, but it is a costume. And he can fly…as effectively as a duck. And the surrounding cast calls him a hero.
But Duck-Bill is a detective story, and the guy in the costume doing the detecting is not entirely put together. But put his personality quirks aside, and he’s a really good detective. Is it fair to say he’s like Rorschach without the psychotic parts (so far)?
Throw in a real/licensed detective in her friend, Grace Martez, and a couple more interesting supporting characters, and you have a story. Especially when Bill unwraps the severed finger to find a message inside…
Art-wise, this black and white book is traditionally laid out with clean linework and deft use of zip-a-tone. Perhaps it’s the b&w, but there’s an almost underground feel that is emphasized by the odd-looking main character whose ball cap lid casts a shadow over his domino mask. It works.
I can’t help but mention the book construction. HOLY COW, this is the way I envision a perfect comic book. The white interior stock is study and brilliant white, and the cover stock is more of a cardstock with a matte-like finish. I’m blown away by this print job.
Pickard clearly made this as a self-funded pilot of sorts. His liner notes suggest that he has a six-issue arc in mind, and he’s been asking around on social media about getting Duck-Bill picked up by a comics publisher. I could see this fitting in with any of a number of small publishers; hopefully the book lands in the right place. It’s definitely worth continuing!
~ Prior Entries ~
Day 2: Branches Entwined & Broken
Day 3: Take the Monkey and RUN! #1
Day 4: Time Before Time – Process Edition
Day 5: Flytrap – A Time Travel Adventure
Day 10: Tales from Kerra Prime, Vol. 1
Day 11: Area 51: The Helix Project #2
Have you considered checking out my small press comics and stories?
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