By Oliver Gerlach
Pussycats – Foxglove #1 is the first issue of a planned 2 issue miniseries. It is, as far as I can tell, a part of e-comix’s Pussycats series, which appear to be cheap titillation with what might be the most unappealing covers around. Using a photo of a “sexy model” for your covers feels like a spectacularly regressive approach to comics marketing. So, is the interior of Foxglove #1 any better than you might expect from this?
No. No it is not. I’m going to pre-empt myself here by saying that I did not find a single thing to like about this comic. Only part of this is the fault of the creative team; the publisher is also largely to blame. Foxglove #1 is a bad comic put out by a publisher doing more harm than good to the comics community.
Let’s start by looking at the comic on its own terms before discussing my issues with the publisher. The art is, admittedly, very detailed and clearly very carefully drawn. The problem is that it’s ugly as hell. We’re talking the worst of Avatar or early 2000AD. It’s black and white and just kind of lumpy and unattractive. I suspect it would look better in colour, but as it is at the moment it’s primarily just difficult to read. It does have a couple of moments of pretty neat monster design, but they aren’t enough to save just how unappealing the overall aesthetic is.
The story… definitely exists. It’s a bit of a mess, seemingly simultaneously covering alien invasions, sinister government conspiracies, zombie outbreaks, and poorly written generic angry ladies with guns. It’s not clear what’s going on, but there’s certainly a lot of it. Unfortunately, there’s no clear reason to like a single one of the characters. Much like the art, the writing is a big chaotic mess with too much going on and a general sense of being a bit unappetising. Even the caption boxes are an incoherent mess; there are stylistic differences between different characters’ boxes, but not enough for them to be intuitively distinguishable.
After all this, my biggest issue with the comic came when I tried to find out who the creators are. As can be seen from the credits below, I was not entirely successful. Googling the title produced no results whatsoever, and searching for the publisher, e-comix, was, although successful, a deeply disappointing experience. E-comix appears to only publish comics with photo-covers; photos of women in cheap, revealing outfits. It’s like an advert for sexy nurse costumes, and it just feels seedy and distasteful. This is the sort of cheap, tacky eroticisation that actively makes the comics industry a hostile and unappealing space for women. The only people it’s likely to please are stunted man-children, and it’s not a good look for any publisher at this point.
Beyond that, E-comix do not appear to respect their creators enough to credit them anywhere. From a search of their social media I managed to track down the artist’s name, but I still have no idea who the writer and letterer are. Perhaps the upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Foxglove will reveal these mysterious figures, but I’m not expecting much.
Yes, Foxglove #1 (and presumably #2) is coming to Kickstarter early next year. I cannot possibly recommend that you support the campaign; E-comix’s approach to comics marketing is one that I object to on a fundamental level, and beyond that this is straightforwardly not a very good comic at all. It gives me no pleasure to write a bad review; I like enjoying things, and I like feeling like the comics industry is a good place. Publishers like E-comix, with their tawdry and regressive approach to “sexiness”, do a great deal to damage that positive impression of the industry.
Pussycats – Foxglove #1