I sat on this issue for way too long (though I didn't mind keeping it all to myself). You’ll notice I say that a lot with my forth coming indie reviews, but it’s tough being a one man show behind the scenes of Comic Bastards. Lingua Franca Comics is a series of unconnected stories that change with each issue. The characters also change with each issue so if you didn’t read the first issue, fear not you don’t need to have in order to understand this issue (though the first issue is quite good and would receive the same score as this issue). The first story, because there are a few in this issue, follows a shape shifting alien by the name of Uchu. He kills another alien during some kind of battle and eventually we find him chilling on a bean bag at home. The alien’s mate busts through his wall Kool-Aid Man style and proclaims that he’ll have his revenge. He’s instantly distracted by the beanbag and says that he’ll take that and they can call it even. Uchu is not down with that and gets him weapon which is a universal remote. They begin fighting until the beanbag is destroyed.
The next story also follows Uchu as he comes across Captain Weird. Cap Weird is drunk and looking for a fight and Uchu is the right man for the job. They begin having an epic battle and you can’t help but like both characters. We already know that Uchu is kind of a dick so Captain Weird being a drunken dick to him back kind of feels like Karma. There are more stories, but the battle takes up the bulk of the issue and every panel of it is awesome.
Creator Jams is actually very good at telling short stories. He uses Uchu over and over in this issue and in a way he’s his constant, his anchor. He knows the character so it’s easy for him to throw him into situations. I also like the strange humor of the issue. Two aliens fighting over a bean bag is something I can get behind… and it made me want one of those fancy bean bags.
Jams’ artwork is what really shines. He varies his style, but overall he has dashes of Paul Pope. He’s not full Pope though as he really brings his own style to the story, but you can see the influence there. The battles are very impressive. It’s like Jams just went off on the paper. Seeing the two men go back and forth was very entertaining and really stole the show. In particular I really enjoyed Captain Weird’s design and look. That and his demeanor as a whole is pretty bad ass.
Jams doesn’t go for deep stories here, but rather action, humor and entertainment. It’s a fun issue and one that I wish I hadn’t sat on for so long. Check out his website for sure and again you don’t need the first issue to enjoy this second issue. The two have nothing to do with each other. I don’t know if these character will appear again, but I kind of hope they do. Even if they’re doing something new and different.
Writer/Artist: Jamie “Jams” Hibdon Self-Published Price: $5.00 Format: One-Shot, Print Website