Midnight Issue #1 – Published by Antiis Comics
For a long time now, I have been a collector of comics. I tend to be a bit fickle about it though. I tend to go through phases when I just sell the lot and then start all over again. Once upon a time I even owned a comic shop – just before the economy crashed again. Enough said about that.
Anyway, getting to the point, I have been a long time fan of the art of Tom Hodges. I met him and his wife Terri in 2007 at the first Star Wars: Celebration Europe. I was there with Lightsabre – one of the biggest Star Wars sites in the UK at that time. It was an excuse to get involved with all things Star Wars and thanks in part to my friend Mark Newbold, (who blagged me a press pass and all access tickets), we spent a lot of time drinking with celebrity guests, comics artists and a plethora of the people that made Star Wars what it was. I believe there was a lot of Guinness involved too.
I ended up with a lot of artwork, some of it by Tom, and over the years I have collected more of it as time has gone by.
When I heard that Tom had decided to self publish a comic, I was intrigued. I know how many new comics fail and I wanted this one to get its chance. What amazed me was the speed at which it has come to fruition. In part this has been achieved with aid of crowd funding. I followed their progress and as soon as I heard that the first issue would be available for purchase – I placed an order. I was eager and I wanted to see something new, so when I finally received those copies of that first issue, I was full of nervous expectation.
I wasn’t disappointed.
A new comic, whether by an independent publisher or from one of the big comic houses, should ease you in to its universe without causing you to lose interest. Midnight #1 does just that. It sets you into the universe and presents the title character, his nemesis and their respective support crew within the pages of just one issue. There is no rushing, no confusion and some familiarity. There’s an obvious back story and these characters are well established within their own universe. They are neither boring nor condescending to the reader either. There are also a few tongue-in-cheek moments too. Midnight himself is a very similar character to that of the dark knight, but has a sense of humour and irony. He’s got a reputation that puts the fear into criminals and street thugs, but he’s not opposed to walking into a shop in full costume and grabbing a cup of coffee on his way home.
So what is the art like I hear you say? (Yes, my hearing is that good).
I love the art. It’s contemporary, but not scrappy. The colours are great and the line work and lettering work brilliantly. It reminds me of the best of 2000 AD, mixed with the best of silver age Marvel and a bit of DC brilliance all rolled into one. Check out the image of the cover if you don’t believe me. It oozes menace.
This first comic spends as much time setting up the primary character as it does the support characters, but that’s only a good thing. No line is wasted, no panel is redundant and the character building is immediate. In addition, the quality of the paper stock used for the comic is excellent too – easily rivalling the “big” competition. Independent comics are struggling in a tough market nowadays, but if Antiis keeps producing more comics like this, they have a bright future. Keep it up guys.
You can follow @antiiscomics and @hodgesart on Instagram and Twitter. You can also purchase issues of the comic from www.etsy.com/shop/antiiscomics. I am looking to import copies of the comic to the UK and they will be available from a link on this site soon.
If you just can’t wait, then you might be interested to learn there will be a competition for a signed copy of the comic coming soon to this site.