Brian Schirmer (w), Claudia Balboni (a)
Scott says: Hey, you know fantasy, right? Lord of the Rings, Jupiter’s Legacy, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie (which I’m only mentioning to remind you how bad Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie was…) – fantasy, right? I’ve never been a huge fan of the genre. Give me some good old fashioned super powers over Orc’s blood any day. And so it was with some apprehension that I picked up Fair Lady #1 this week. But as is so often the case with comics, I’m so bleedin’ glad I did.
Fair Lady revolves around Jenner Faulds, a Private Investigator, and one big ol’ humanoid cat she’s hanging with (a ‘Jessu’), as she navigates The Feld – the skeletal remains of a fallen giant now converted into a town harbouring over ten thousand citizens. In this first issue Faulds is sent on a seemingly simple mission to locate and retrieve a missing person. Easy, right? What could possibly go wrong?
What’s so endearing about this issue is that it’s ‘done-in-one’ – the story begins and finishes in the same issue, an increasingly popular direction taken by indie creators of late. It’s also a more substantial issue than most, with Schirmer explaining in the back matter to this issue ‘…that EVERY issue will be just as jam-packed – and still cost you just $3.99’ (or £3.35 for those right of the Atlantic). These two facets, joined with the considered, well-paced, delightfully drawn flow of the issue, makes for a really enjoyable dose of crime slash fantasy slash F-U-N that I didn’t realise I’d been needing.
Bowser + Luigi Are in Love
Will says: The cover says it all really. As Bowser embraces Luigi, he replies with “We can’t Bowser. It’s forbidden.” While Bowser copes with his negative self-concept, Luigi struggles to realise he’s not just a palette swap and the two find comfort in each other.
The origins of this fan-zine came from a tweet Ariel Ries jokingly made in 2015, “my [one true pairing], Bowser/Luigi. Luigi hides his sinful relationship with the Koopa king from his brother or risk bringing even more shame to the family.” This zine collects the subsequent comics and illustrations that Ariel drew with growing passion and investment in the concept.
Such include Luigi’s attempt of relating to Bowser Jr and his rejection of his father’s new lover; the awkward breakfast the Mario brothers share with their archenemy when their secret is revealed; and an abundance of overwhelmingly cute drawings shipping the tall, green plumber and the king of the koopas. Underneath the comical imagery of this zine is a genuinely heartwarming tale of love and embracing who you are.