Petre, Fake and Greg – Santos Sisters #2
Huzzah, the “#1” on the first issue not being a cruel trick! #3 is also here waiting for review, and #4 is coming out in June. They’re unstoppable! If you didn’t read my review for the first issue, get to it; that’ll clue you in on the basic concept here. Now that you’re all caught up, there’s just so damned much to like about this series that I hardly know where to start. It’s all printed on newsprint, and it’s the size of “regular” comic books, which really contributes to the feel of the book. This issue also has more than a few ads, and while it would fit right in with the aesthetic to have fake funny ads throughout, that wasn’t the deal here. All of the ads are legit (unless they snuck a few in on the page full of tiny ads), and they’re all for other small press comics, publishers, shops or other things that might actually be useful to the type of person reading this. Just excellent work on the overall look of this comic. Oh, and they were also nice enough to send me a small poster of the centerfold, featuring all of the characters and a few that haven’t been introduced yet. Yep, I am easily bribed! So the comic looks great, which is nice I guess, but what about the stories? Oh no, it’s more excellent work! The first story deals with Weird A.I. Ankhovic (congrats to the people who get it) sending a couple of his minions (Spit and Shine, and I am very curious to see their origin story) out to infect as many people as possible. This will enable him to take over the town, and the people are infected by being shot by the villains and turned into what are basically purple zombies. No munching on brains in this one, just steadily increasing infections. An excellent touch is that Spit and Shine used to date but have since broken up, so they’re both being very mature in their interactions with each other. Their dynamic gradually falling apart was one of the highlights of the book, as was the use of poor Todd by our heroes. The other story deals with a baby dragon suddenly appearing in front of an old lady, which eventually terrorizes an anthropomorphic duck (think Howard, basically) and his pal. Our heroes have to fly to the rescue while being very drunk, which is the type of thing that should happen in more comics. I’m completely sold on this series (this is one of those reviews where I’m barely scratching the surface on all the small details that make it great) and might even review the next issue next week, even though they’re designed to be stand-alone issues. We’ll see! $4.20, but it seems to be selling out fast, so don’t dawdle!
Petre, Fake and Greg – Santos Sisters #1
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You’d really think that I’d have learned not to judge a book by its cover by now, right? 20+ years into rambling about comics, and I just assumed that this one was going to be one of those “funny animal” books. And they’re wearing karate gear, so I also assumed it could be a parody comic, meaning I passed it up for review a few times. Well, sometimes I’m a stupid head, and this was one of those times. Yes, those characters do appear in the comic, but as this is a hefty comic, they’re just in the one story, and they’re not even particularly obnoxious in it. So what’s the story here? This is a full color series of stories about these sisters; they get a cursory origin story but it’s not particularly important. The art style will almost certainly remind you of Archie comics, if those comics had swearing and occasionally spectacular violence. So what’s in these stories, you ask? Subjects include trying to give her sister advice about guys while murdering mercenaries, a story about a modern day Don Quixote (which is maybe the highlight of the book, but it’s a stiff competition), a glimpse into the cartoon “Boozy Bees”, a gunfight on jet skis (and an overly loquacious dolphin), a Halloween party with two Psylocke costumes and a murderous pair that come through the mirror, going camping with the gang (which is when a villain and those karate animals show up), a huge furry penis who’s terrorizing some skiers, a terrible dream about one of the Boozy Bees, and (in what is apparently their first story) an appearance by a werewolf cheerleader. Is that too many parenthetical asides for one sentence? Is there such a thing? So as a whole, this comic is always clever and occasionally hilarious, with the best possible asset if you find yourself not liking one of the stories: they’re all pretty short. Really, I didn’t find a stinker in the bunch, which is quite an achievement with something this size. The art is deceptively simple, but maybe that’s my preconceived notions because this looks like an Archie comic. It’s great stuff, and I’m really hoping this isn’t one of those joke “#1s” but instead leads to a proper series. $5