The Fall Complete Review

Vengeance and Justice
Huggnatics! Huglicans…. Huglicats? Huggertarians?
I know many of you are probably saying, “Scott, didn’t you just review “The Fall” just a short while ago?”
And I’d say “How did you get this number!?”
And then “Why yes, but the awesome folks at PLB liked my review so much (or thought I got so much wrong) that they are asking me to review the other three issues!” Note: The Fall is full of all the things your mother wouldn’t let you read when you were a kid. Blood, cursing, near nudity, and…. did I mention cursing?

But unlike the first review, which reviewed every story within the fall comics, I will not be doing that here. This review isn’t about the quality of each story, this review is about my feelings for the fall as a whole, and how, despite its flaws, is forming up to be one of the best comics about the perils of vigilante justice.

Who is the Fall?
That’s the point isn’t it? No one knows who the fall is. He doesn’t seem to be financially well off, as seen by his relatively undecorated apartment in the city. He does seem to have enough money to keep his supply of pain killers up, as implied by a reference to prescriptions. He is also, most definitely, a man between the ages of 20-40. Why do I say this? Well, in comic number 2, in the first story “Point of View” a woman describes him as a “Young Man”. And in the end, none of that matters.

The Fall is the personification of the synonymous relations between vengeance and justice. To most, the words are clearly defined, differentiated enough that we usually equate justice with impartial judgements, vengeance with emotionally charged eye for an eye mentality. The Fall combines these two definitions, and to him Justice and Vengeance go hand in hand. He is the impartial judge, and the angry executioner.

While the Fall one on hand represents the grey area where Vengeance and Justice overlap, he also represents humanities inability to tread within that area. At first this seems highly hypocritical. The Fall, when confronted with someone doing his job, either reacts by discouraging their actions, or by dealing with them as if they were criminals. The Fall doesn’t permit others to inhabit the zone between Vengeance and Justice like he does, perhaps realizing himself that one day he will have to answer for his crimes.He deals out his punishments because the criminal has caused pain to others, but by killing some of them, rather then rehabilitating those that could be, he causes suffering in others. By this logic he would one day need to suffer a similar punishment. Or, perhaps, he doesn’t see himself as a man at all. Men can be punished, for they are given a choice. But by throwing away his identity, by becoming a ghost, He has already killed himself. He is now a spirit of the city, and incapable of being judged for his decisions.

Or perhaps fighting is his punishment. So many of the criminals he fights see him as the devil, and this portrayal, as often as it happens, may be intentional. The devil, as most people see him, is punished by being sent to hell and overseeing the punishment of others. Perhaps the Fall did something so horrible in his human life, that he saw his only logical punishment as the same given to the greatest evil: living amongst and punishing other sinners and criminals.

This is why the flaws of the comic can be forgiven, because the character himself is flawed. His motives, his life, his decisions are at once highly hypocritical, and yet at the same time a personified version of Vengeance and Justice. He works for good by doing bad. The dialogue is sometimes a bit off. The stories sometimes seems to be missing something. But in those are the flaws of the Fall. The Fall, as a man, as an ideal, is missing something, and the feeling of the books, enhances your enjoyment of just who the character is.

I should mention the banter, much of the art, and some of the short stories within the pages are the parts you will remember, and will like the book for.

The Fall is not a story about a man dealing out his own brand of justice to criminals. You can read any super hero comic to find that. The reason to read the fall is to reach a deeper insight into what happens when a super hero no longer has a secret identity. When he gives himself fully to the cause and is no longer human in any real sense. He is an idea. You read the fall to see how violent vigilantism sees other forms of vigilantism. You read the fall to get inside the head of a man who has given himself to the city he lives. You read the fall because it is at the same time flawed and perfect. The Fall is a diamond, the cuts and flaws serving to enhance the beauty of the whole.

Saturday Stuff Home Made Heroes review

Hey Hugsians, (Huggers?)(Hug’mericans??)
Today I’ll be reviewing a comic series by Grim Rascal, a name you might recognize from my review of “The Fall #4”.
In addition to being a great pen for hire, he also has his own work, a work about super heroes, or… super people… calling them heroes might be pushing it. But whatever they are, I assume he makes them at his house, because why else would he call them

Home Made Heroes, as it exists at the moment, consists of two comic books. Unlike my review of the Fall, where it seemed important to split up the comic to review it, I will be reviewing HMH as a series, rather than two separate comic books. My purpose for this is two fold. The first is that each book is of roughly the same quality, and if you like the first, you will like the second, and vice versa. The second point, and perhaps the most important, is that they are stronger together than apart due to the slight story elements that begin to show between the gags.

Quick Review
Each comic follows the same formula. The first few pages are three panel gags, hitting and missing depending on what humor is your fancy. Some deal with double entendre. Some deal with super hero parody. Some deal with these hopeless heroes in awkward situations. The second half of the comics are full panel stories, putting a plot before a gag, or simply making the plot a gag. These are the best parts of each comic in my opinion, as you get to learn about some of the characters you see in the three panel comics, which greatly adds to their enjoyability as well.
You also get some neat cards at the end, which I assume will have rules to use them in later issues.
In conclusion: HMH reads like Tank Girl, for those familiar with the comic. The random situations, quirky humor, and sporadic story elements will quickly grow on those who are already fans of Tank Girl. I also recommend it for anyone who is a fan of the Tick, for many of the same reasons.

Long Review
While the quick review was mainly to show you what you are getting into and what the comic is like, in the long review I hope to dig beneath the surface of the comic and find it’s true meaning.
Grim Rascal insists that the comic is nothing but random jokes and quirky humor, while the main story is coming later, but I beg to differ. Almost every comic, almost every cartoon, has a lesson to be learned if only our eyes are opened to it.

We’ll start the long review with the two main characters: Megalodon and Ninja Frog Man. Megalodon is a super strong, tough sharkman who may or may not be able to swim. Ninja Frog Man isn’t actually a superhero in a real sense, yet. And that’s where the comic gets interesting. When you follow him, focus intently on what he says, you find out he only dresses like he does as an advertisement of his business. You find out some weird things about his brother, who is at the same time good guy and bad guy. You find out that he doesn’t like to get his hands dirty when it is the authorities job. And then, ever so slightly, you pick up aspects of the story coming up. Ninja Frog Man isn’t a hero, and by most respects it would appear he doesn’t even want to be one, but by dressing like one, hanging around one (Megalodon) and being wrapped up in super hero business, I have a feeling he will become one. So the moral of HMH might be “Fake it to Make it”, or “You become who you act like”. Grim Rascal may protest, and keep claiming that it’s random humor, which it is, but I have a feeling his subconscious mind, and the premise of the comic, may prove otherwise.

Fin (Get it… cause ones a shark? Fin?)
Home Made Heroes is funny, and well worth a check out. It ended far to quickly for my liking, and I can’t wait to read issue three. In the end, like it or not, they are very fast reads, and only 50 cents an issue if you contact him directly. $1 is a small price for what you are getting, and it is well worth a look. Who knows, Grim Rascal may be your new hero afterwards.
Edit: I forgot a link to his page! SO HERE IT IS

Saturday Stuff The Fall #4 w/Review

Today’s saturday stuff is a comic book review. I’ve been trying to refine what Saturday Stuff is, and I’ve decided it is a neat little platform for reviews. This review is of PLB comics’ latest: The Fall, Vengeance and Justice #4. (Not for kids! A lot of nudity, blood, violence and cursing.)

Who is the fall?
He’s a masked vigilante who shoots people in the name of justice and vengeance. Beyond that your guess is as good as mine.

Its strength is its weakness.
The Fall #4 is a confusing read for the uninitiated, but that is to be expected for those who are jumping into a series four comics in. This lack of familiarity isn’t the only thing that leads to an air of confusion, the Fall is confusing because it isn’t a single, concise, 30 page story. Let me clarify: The Fall #4, like the others in the series, is made up of a series of six, four page snapshots of different stories. Some of these are stand alone, some of these are starting points to a new story, and some are continuations of a previous story. This causes the book to have a confusing identity, but perhaps this is the point. I’ll voice my opinion on this towards the end of the review, for now I’d like to review each story within the comic.

Everybody wants to be a rock star when they grow up…
This is the weakest of the stories, at least to the uninitiated. You get some background on one character, but then the narrative skips to a different character, who does something for reasons seemingly unconnected with the first character, and then the Fall comes in and it says “to be continued.” Its hard to review it on these four pages alone, as I feel the rest of the story will connect the events. For now my review on this part will be “to be continued.”

Talking in the dark: Strangers Pt 2
While the first story left me confused, this one left me desperately wanting more, especially after I began to connect some dots. Even as a part two you realize right away what is happening: a serial killer is stringing women up and calling out the Fall. I also noticed an American flag on the wall of one of the characters, a glaring bit of detail for usually undetailed backgrounds, not important to this story but I recognized another one in a different story at someone else’s house. Review: I want the fall #5 just for answers to this story.

This story really shows how tight of a grasp Josh Shockley has on his character. It is the one story of the bunch he didn’t write, and it shows. If Shockley has any weakness, its that there aren’t enough pages in the book to tell his story. Masks, written by others, actually finishes a story, but the writing seems… off. The plot is spot on, and it really shows what the Fall is really about, but the dialogue doesn’t seem to fit the situation. The plot is great though, and the ending is well worth the read. Review: “Sorry *bleep*, but I’ve gotta go, smell ya later!” I can forgive, simply because of the awesome explosion that happens after.

Voodoo Child: Part 2: And She Was.
The most beautiful full page layout is in this comic. It’s an awesome read and fitting for the centerfold. I love the pacing between the dialogue, I love the insight into the two characters that it focuses on, I love the art, I love seeing the American flag in the Fall’s room and saying “Ah ha! I know who the fall is!” And then realizing that I don’t later. I hate that it’s to be continued. Review: Same as Talking in the Dark. I need more.

Double Vision
Drugs are the only way to explain this comic. Well, that’s why most of the comic is what it is. The art is great, the story is crazy, and the ending gives you some insight into the Fall. Review: Crazy. Good crazy? Bad crazy? I’ll let you judge.

Shoot to Thrill: Strangers Pt 3.
The continuation of “Talking in the Dark” gives some answers to the earlier story, but I can’t help but feel that it is more of an aside than a continuation. I think it would have been stronger if it had directly followed part 2, but it keeps my interest up for the end of the Strangers story. Review: Not as good as “Talking in the Dark”, but it has answers, sweet, juicy answers.

Final thoughts
The writer of The Fall has admitted to me that he doesn’t even know for sure who the fall is, which means he can sneak as many clues in as he wants about who his identity is and I can think I’m all smart until he says “nope” and pulls a 180. The point here is that the Fall can be anyone, or no one. His story doesn’t matter as much as those around him, which is why the books design works in a metaphorical way. While a single story in the comic would be less confusing, I think the tone the author wants to set is one of confusion. The Fall’s biggest strength is that his identity, motives, and story are confusing, and the book does well to instill that feeling. In the end I liked the book. I loved parts of it. I disliked others. The art is all different. Even the writing changes up. Final review? Read it, at some point in time. I’m really enjoying seeing where the series is going, and I’ll be first on the preorder list if they ever do a graphic novel compiling the best ones, or even the full stories.

Look for more PLB stuff here!

Saturday Stuff Fajita

Today Saturday Stuff brings you Fajita, a great little comic by a guy who knows a lot about comics. You should check it out HERE

Saturday Stuff Little Forkers

Here’s another Saturday Stuff. Today I’d like to present to ya’ll a fairly NSFW comic called Little Forkers. It took me a bit to find one appropriate for my site, so I do warn you, the themes are rather adult. It’s quite a funny comic though, and worth the read.
Click Here To Read

Saturday Stuff Aisle 9

Hey guys! I’d like to introduce a new thing for time for hugs called “Saturday Stuff”, where I post something neat I found on the internet to help support fellow artists and friends. Today’s Saturday Stuff is a comic called Aisle 9, which is about Ditto, Death’s little brother, and his inability to kill a guy with a paper bag for a head. And we both sell mugs with death’s little brother holding a club.

Check out the full comic Here