Published on February 26th, 2016 | by Kevin Given
Review: Broken Frontier Anthology – part 2
A review in 2 parts. Part 1 here.
“Lokee, Lokee! Lokee what I found” – Rhiaa
What a unique anthology collection! It’s part Twilight Zone, part Outer Limits and part Tales from the Dark Side with a dose of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I love my anthologies and this is the best of the ones I’ve reviewed so far.
13) The Legend of Dyson Holmes. Edie Op gives us a unique tale which looks like a child drew it with a crayon, very creative I’ve never seen anything like it in a comic book. The Protagonists cat, Mowson escapes out of a window and Dyson chases after it. The cat runs into an abandoned building and Dyson tracks it down. He finds another cat, which looks exactly like Mowson, the cat leads them to some kind of a math journal. Our protagonist and his cat are suddenly thrust to the other side of town and they decide to follow the other cat, as it seemed to go with them. Dyson becomes confused by his surroundings. First it’s hot, then it immediately turns cold. Dyson meets a stranger that has the answer to what he’s going through. What Dyson doesn’t know is that the fate of mankind is in his hands, will he be able to figure out what he needs to do before it’s to late?
14) The Trip. A young girl is traveling with her father and tries to make sense of the death of her mother. She died when the girl was just an infant. She seems to blame herself for what happened and her father has to convince her that she’s not to blame.
Joshua Hale Fialkov gives us a heartwarming tale of growing up and the relationship of a young girl to her father with more brilliant art from Ryan Kelly.
15) It’s About Time. Frederik Hautain takes us to Melbourne Florida in 2044 where Professor Stephen Thompson has made a breakthrough in climate control. We head back to 2021. A scientist who has dedicated his life to helping others has been brought to the brink of despair through personal tragedy. To what length will a person go to discover the truth, and when he finds that truth it isn’t what he expected it to be. The very tragedy he wanted to prevent he now finds himself compelled to cause said tragedy. There’s a fine line between sanity and insanity and what will it take for a once brilliant mind, now a lost soul, to cross that line?
Hautain’s story is enhanced by brilliant art from Facundo Percio as we see Professor Thompson grapple with the powers that be.
16) Death Signal. Flatliners meets White Noise as our hero undergoes a scientific experiment to see what happens when a person dies. A seemingly innocent experiment as the scientists in charge discover that nothing happens, or does it? What seems real to him is something he can no longer trust.
The story by Adam Egypt Mortimer takes us to the dark resources of our protagonists soul and he may not like what he finds. The art by Jeff McComsey is appropriately surreal for this type of tale.
17) Quin Returns. David Hine brings another horror/noir mystery as the protagonist returns home after an extended absence. Seemingly in an amnesiac state Quin doesn’t recognize anything in his room. He goes to bed, there’s blood all over the sheets. He see’s items with his name all over them, including a loaded gun, yet he doesn’t recognize any of these as being his.
Hine is clearly a fan of Edgar Allen Poe and I believe the master of the Macabre would be satisfied with this little ditty. Mark Stafford’s art is eerily effective as we see the main character’s decent into madness!
18) Here there be Monsters. Sean Wang handles the story and art in another tale with no dialogue. His character development keeps the story moving along at a fine pace. It’s Moby dick meets Godzilla as our heroes face the impossible. Christopher Columbus along with the crews of the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria survive a major sea disaster in order to discover the new land. But who are the real monsters in this tale? The answer isn’t immediately clear.
19) Terran Omega. Another epic sci-fi tale Story and art by PJ Holden and Scott Ferguson who do a fantastic job of creating a unique and colorful world with strange creatures that are awaiting the fulfillment of a prophecy, a last warrior that will deliver them from oppression. The oppressor relies on the lives of the inhabitants of this quirky little world for sustenance. A humanoid alien arrives and the creatures assume that he is the one they are waiting for, but in the immortal words of Felix Unger “When you assume, you make an ass of u and me.” another great little story where nothing is as it seems.
20) The Wreck of the Vesalius. Another great little sci-fi tale. A forbidden journey of Innerspace Our micronaut heroes are on a mission to cure a man and the only way they can help him is if they shrink down to tiny size. But sometimes even those with good intentions can meet an ignoble end.
Steve Orlando and Yaroslav Astapeev bring us a breathtaking moment where the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.
21) Sole Survivor. Helpless, I can’t tell the people who showed up to help me that they shouldn’t be there. My final moments are a state of paralysis. I yearn to warn them to stay away. An antagonist that they can’t see is upon them. If I don’t warn them then the fate of the human race is extinction! Go away, do not help me, do not come near me you fools. You have to figure it out because I can’t tell you. But I couldn’t figure it out either, please let me die, it’s for your own good!
A tale of helpless paranoia wonderfully executed by Steve Bryant.
22) Rabid. What happens when Superhero’s go rabid? The Ace Battalion, think Invaders meet Justice Society, are about to show us! meet The Shieldman, Sister Leather, Cerulean, Kid Ocelot and King Lynx. The artistic team of Kurt Belcher and David…er, Rob Croonenboghs pull no punches and show us what can happen if people had the real powers of the superhero’s in comic books, it’s not a pretty sight!
23) Inside Outside. A photo story about illness, but is it mental or physical? When you feel sick and don’t seem to be getting any better, what do you do? You’re brought to the edge and nothing you do can make you feel better. It started Inside, She was on her meds, but she stopped taking them, probably too soon. listen to your doctor boys and girls (s)he knows best! Now it spread to the outside…and it won’t stop!
Karrie Fransman successfully brings us into a diseased mind with a story that reminds us of A scanner darkly with a dose of Leaving Las Vegas.
24) Down in A Hole. Picture a man who by day is an entertainer beloved by millions of children as Chuckie the clown, but who by night seeks to escape, who wants nothing to do with the human race. Harold has anger issues, his producers know it, his family and friends know it, Harold himself knows it and so, despite his popularity, Chuckie had to go. Harold has to find out the hard way that he should be happy with what he has and realize that he’s more privileged than most people.
Noah Van Sciver’s tale in B/W reminds me of an old Twilight Zone episode.
25) 30 Years of Service. Do any of us plan for retirement? It seems that the Blue Meanies aboard the Yellow Submarine, at least one of them, has not. What will he do now? What indeed.
A quirky two page tale from Box Brown.
26) A Bastard’s Tale; Key. Are you open minded? What does it mean to be open minded? most people don’t know. Many of us think we’re open minded only to eventually discover that our minds were simply closed in the opposite direction. Conservative, liberal, moderate. It’s all about thinking in the right direction.
Another simple little ditty with excellent art and story telling from Salgood Sam.
27) Last Dance at Omega Point. “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into the future” – Steve Miller. Can we trust what moment in time we’re in? When an accident victim comes too, they usually don’t know where or when they are. Can we trust our senses. Are we really here at this moment in time? I.N.J. Culbard wraps up this little anthology with an abstract little story that asks us to question our reality. Are we here? Is it now? do we really ever know?
Broken Frontier Anthology
Over-sized hardcover (11.2” x 7.6”), 312 full color pages containing 27 stories from over 50 creators.
Cover by Robbi Rodriguez.