This month I am posting a review of a different self-published comic book each day for the rest of the month! Here is an archive of the books reviewed so far!
Today I'm featuring Brian Anderson's Unabashedly Billie #1.
Brian Anderson is best known for his comic, So Super Duper, which I'll get to some time this month (maybe even Brian's other self-published comic, Reignbow and Dee-Va, which has to be seen to be believed), but the first comic of his that I'm taking a look at is this slice-of-life auto-bio comic about his first date with another guy.
Almost the entire issue takes place in the lead ("Billie" instead of "Brian") character's bedroom as he prepares for his first date ever with another man.
It is a sweet and funny look at the thought process of a young man as he prepares to make that transition from "closeted" to "out."
The entire comic is told landscape format (so you have to turn the book on its side to read it), and it progresses much like a comic strip (I believe it originally was published as a web comic).
Here is a sample from the story that I think accurately captures the type of story that it is...
Anderson is most likely still developing as an artist, and his characters probably need a little work, but right off the bat, he is an impressive storyteller with his art, and his panel layouts are striking. The way that he designs the panels honestly helps to move the story along - that's an old school trick that it's nice to see used here.
There are times when I was unsure if there was enough material to satisfy so many pages devoted to just Billie getting ready, and yeah, a few times it seemed like there definitely WASN'T enough material, but those were few and far between. For the most part, Anderson keeps the story moving along nicely with a lot of humor, but most of all, a lot of heart.
All in all, the work is a bit slight, but it is never intended to be anything more than that, and it achieves what it set out to do, so I would put it as a success.
If you would like to participate in the month with your self-published comic, there might still be time (depending on how fast you mail out comics). Just check out the Review Copies section to see where to mail a review copy of your comic.