The Comicverse #2
$4.00, B&W, 24 pgs.
Writer: Bianca Alu-Marr
Artist: Steve Peters
There are always interesting people to be found at your neighborhood comic book store. They could be customers, the store owner, or even a visiting comic book artist doing a signing. Part of the store experience is meeting fellow fans and chatting about upcoming plotlines, your favorite artist, or the next big comic-related movie.
With the incredible variety of people to be found at these retail establishments, have you ever wondered what would happen if someone took their store and moved it to...let's say, outer space?
Well, wonder no longer.
The Comicverse is a fun and imaginative series about a comic shop that is literally in space. Reiko Starr is the owner of The Comicverse, a comic shop that is located on the Tianhtar Space Station, a prime location for visits from many different types of alien species. Like many store owners, Reiko and his employee Ying Starr (a friendly, if somewhat lazy dragon) have to contend with comic fans, unruly customers, and even the occasional flirtation with a female customer. However, this particular store also has visitors with the potential to cause a little more property damage than your average "fanboy."
As mentioned in my review of the first issue (published in Comics Buyer's Guide #1689), the store allows its patrons to actually customize their comics. This process is done by the use of "smart paper" that allows molecules to set permanently after the customer decides which comic book they want. Unfortunately, the smart rack device (which has a mind of its own) is not always in the mood to service customers, or create new comics, which can create challenges for Reiko and his staff.
In this issue, one of the store's customers is a little short on funds to pick up his weekly stash of new comics (haven't we all been there before?) As is often the case in real life, the customer offers a barter deal: an entire case of "Zoom" Energy Drink in exchange for his pile of comics. Reiko is reluctant, but agrees to the deal as part of a promotional offer where customers can get free drinks for checking out the store. Unfortunately, Ying forgets to inform Reiko that there is only one thing worse than giving an energy drink to a shape shifter: giving an expired energy drink to a shape shifter. If you've ever seen the effects of sugary soda on a young child, you probably have an idea what happens next, but I'll avoid the full details, as it has to be seen to be believed.
In the backup story, Steve Peters gives a nice shout-out to Free Comic Book Day as it's celebrated on a space station. Just like on Earth, customers enjoy free comics, getting sketches and having their picture taken with their favorite comic characters.
As a special bonus, this issue also features a detailed specifications sheet on the Tianhtar Space Station, as well as some of the characters featured in this issue. This book is sheer fun, and one of the most enjoyable and original titles currently on the indie scene. If your local comic store doesn't carry The Comicverse, check out www.awakeningcomics.com for ordering information for the first two issues of this series, as well as updates on upcoming issues!