Hello and welcome to another special edition of the Indi Comics Spotlight!
This time around, we are catching up with one publisher in particular: Lucky Comics!
I’ve spotlighted this publisher before, and I’ve continued to enjoy their output ever since.
For those who don’t know, Lucky is the brainchild of John Michael Helmer, who gives up and coming comic book creators a chance to showcase their talents in short, mostly 8-page issues that are generally sold for $2.00 in print or for a mere 75 cents per digital download.
Over its 5 year history (and counting), Lucky has seen many of its creators launch their own independent imprints, such as Blue Moon Comics, Zindagi Comix, Golden Era Comics, and most recently, Erik on Paper.
You just might recognize some of those publishers from previous posts on this blog, including the post that went up right before this one!
Needless to say, Helmer and Lucky deserve a lot of credit for energizing the independent comics scene over the past several years.
But hey: Lucky is still putting out books of their own, people! So, why don’t we see what they’ve been up to lately, eh?
Beetle Girl #30: Full disclosure – I wrote a page in this comic book! And so did many, many other people! 20 pages, each with a different creative team (except for one double-page spread), all to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Lucky Comics! I was honored to be asked to contribute, and very pleased with the way my script was translated onto the page by artist and Robert Norton and letterer John Michael Helmer! The story this issue involves Danni (Beetle Girl) being distracted by several different flashback stories as a surprise is prepared for her at the end of the book. It’s a great issue, showcasing so many talented people who have made Lucky one of the most fun companies out there publishing comics today. Yes, even though my work is in it! Now…onward!
Beetle Girl #31: This issue is written by Dan Johnson with art by Josh Holley. Dan has another book coming up in this post, and Josh has started his own imprint. “Right On! Comics,” as well. This story also appears in “Black Cricket #1” from Dan’s “Golden Kid Comics” imprint. See? I told you Lucky was a launching pad for new indie comics, eh? Anyway…what’s THIS story about, you ask? Well, Beetle Girl is enjoying a quiet night when suddenly the Black Cricket literally runs into her in mid-air, chasing a supervillain from his own alternate Earth! It’s a fun, well-written tale with charming art by Holley that is superdeformed and “cutesy,” but easily able to carry a more or less “serious” superhero story on its own. Dan and Josh are a good team. Okay, next up!
Beetle Girl #32: This issue is reprint of sorts, taking a story that originally appeared in “Adventures of Dartman #1” from “Irvrat Comics” and altering it slightly to fit in with the Beetle Girl solo title. It’s a fun story, involving several classic “superhero misunderstandings” at once, and a bad guy named…Rowdy Rabbit? Like I said, it’s fun, and I dig it, even if the story puts BG a little more at odds with the police than I’m used to seeing her. (I’m not averse to clashes with the police in a superhero story, I just don’t think that’s been a big theme for BG’s adventures) The story here is by Richard Irving, with art by Luigi Dequito, and one page by original BG artist Eric Douthit.
Depthon of the Deep #2: This is a title from Mark Davis’ “Surprising Comics Group” imprint that he launched at Lucky before going off to start his own “Golden Era Comics” group. See? The Lucky Launching Pad strikes again! This issue features Story and Letters by John Michael Helmer with art by Erik Franklin (who just launched his own “Erik on Paper” imprint!). This issue continues the assault on Fort Nautica by the villainous Seazar and his equally aquatically-appellated allies. Oh, yes, there are marine-adjacent puns aplenty in this comic book, and I approve of them all. The issuse ends with a seeeming victory, followed closely by….a tragic cliffhanger! Luckily, the next issue is coming up…now!
Depthon of the Deep #3: John Michael Helmer continues the story, with Tim Ellis and Donnie Willman providing the art for this issue. The aftermath of last issue explosive surprise is dealt with, and Depthon decides to turn the tides against his attackers! Secrets are revealed! A new hero is born! And it will all be concluded in the upcoming Sea Lad #1! This has become a new favorite of mine in the Lucky line-up, folks, and I’m looking very much forward to the new Sea-Lad title.
Martyr #1: Now, here’s a brand new series from Lucky that I almost didn’t pick up. Seeing the obvious religious/Christian themes on the cover was a turn-off for me, quite frankly. See, I’m not just a non-religious person; I personally border pretty close to the anti-religious side of things. So, I thought “well, hey: can’t read ’em all,” and I let this title sit for a bit. After a while, however, I thought “you know, I’ve enjoyed plenty of comics with religious themes before, so why not at least try this one for 75 cents?” Guess what? I’m glad I did. This is a fun action-adventure story that, yes, leans heavily on Christian mythology (and yes, I’m going to call it that), but does so in the service of entertaining the reader, and I was plenty entertained. Kudos to writer John Michael Helmer (there he is again!) and artist Oscar Suyama for showing this 49-year-old non-believer a good time. Also: I absolutely love that Black Owl design and I need to see more of it!
Super-American #1: Speaking of things I have grown somewhat averse to (especially over the past four years), here’s a comic book with a downright jingoistic-sounding name for its title character. Granted, Super-American is a character that first debuted in “Fight Comics” #15 back in 1941, but still: I have a lower tolerance for over-abundant flag-waving and such things these days than I ever have, and I never had as much of that as most people to begin with. As you may have guessed, I gave the book a chance anyway. Right on the inside cover, though, the editorial by “Old School Comics” EIC Dan Johnson (remember him from earlier in this post?) put me on guard again with its quite frankly tired (in my opinion) refrain of how “modern comics have lost their way” and what not. Anyone who is still clinging to that fallacy is simply not reading enough modern comics. Really. The Marvel and DC of your childhood are never coming back. Time doesn’t work that way. there are more good comics out there NOW than ever before. Cut it out. That being said, this was a good introductory issue, with Dan’s typically brisk and crisp writing, and very good art by Joey Martinez. I’ll keep my eyes open for more from the Old School Comics imprint, even if their first ad for another title in the back of the book is for “Seafender,” a character that seems a little close to “Depthon” for the relatively small size of the Lucky Comics pool…
Unbeatable Brick #6: Now, here’s a title you’ve definitely seen me cover before here on the blog, and it features one of my favorite new characters not just at Lucky, but in all of superhero comics at the moment. Seriously, the Brick is great and this book is a blast. Written by Lloyd Smith (of the Blue Moon Comics Group!) with art by Josh Holley (him again!), this issue finds Brick exploring the sea, only to happen upon a lost city of Ice hidden in an underwater cave! There, he faces the monster known as Polarr (he’s right there on the cover, folks!), and it’s all just a classically fun superheroic romp all the way to the end. Hopefully, issue #7 is not far behind!
So…THAT’s what up with Lucky Comics these days!
Let me know what you think, eh?
Until then, I shall remain Max…and I shall keep reading comics!