A new feature focusing on small press comics!
Small Press Comic of the Week features various small press/alternative comics that would be overlooked by most comic book review teams.
What if the world was undeniably coming to an end? How would people react? The aptly titled comic The End explores this through a series of vignettes that range from the truly dark to the bittersweet. Written by Shawn Murphy and drawn by various artists, The End examines how people would react to the world's impending demise at the hands of a rapidly approaching meteor storm.
Both issues of The End consist of two stories of various lengths and examine a host of characters, from an unhappy telemarketer with a violent streak to a boy trying to dealing with his adolescent feelings for girls at the end of the world. While all four stories exist in a common world, they could not be more different. Id is a violent, dark story, while Crush is cute and innocent. It's a testament to Murphy's writing skills that each story has entirely different tones and themes, and all four protagonists have a distinct and unique voice.
The best of the four short stories in The End is Ladder, illustrated by Rand Arrington. Ladder focuses on Lester, a successful businessman who decides to spend his last week with his wife, with whom he is deeply in love. Of all the characters featured in The End, Lester is the most well-rounded and real. In eleven pages, readers form a connection with his character and are touched by the surprise his wife shares at the end of the book. Both my wife and I enjoyed the story, which also features the strongest art in the book. The other three stories range from fun to forgettable, but Ladder is an authentic gem with heartfelt emotion.
If you want to give The End a try, you can pick it up on Shawn's site. Ladder is featured in issue two. I look forward to seeing what else Murphy has to offer and hope that this is the first of many successful comics written by Murphy.
Written or Contributed by: Christian Hoffer