Today I am featuring a guest post by Espanolbot, otherwise known as "the boy". He usually blogs here on his Livejournal, but today he has written a post for me about the first two issues of Handknit Heroes, the knitting-themed comic book. I gave my opinion of the first issue previously, as a hardcore knitter and casual comics fan - Lewis, on the other hand, is a hardcore comics fan and a casual knitter.
I'll tell you what I think about the second issue once I have read it - I just received it. In the mean time, here's Lewis' thoughts.
In a city plagued with crime, three teenaged superheroes are out to bag the bad guys, while mysterious experiments by those close to the heroes are performed in the sidelines...
Oh, and knitting’s involved.
Handknit Heroes is an independently published comic that started in spring 2009, out of creator Stephanie Bryant’s desire to combine the current popularity of superheroes with the knitwear available on such sites as Ravelry.com.
The result is... enthusiastic but flawed, to put it mildly.
Written by Stephanie Bryant, and with art by Marc Olivent, the basic premise of the book is that a pair of twins, Ana and Alex Miller, who have mysterious powers which they use to fight crime, along with Ana’s pink-clad, teleporting friend Sue Ho.
While they’re getting up to the standard teenage superhero hijinks of balancing homework, heroing and the required level of quipping, the twins’ mum is up to secret experiments trying to create a kind of fibre that can be knitted into a bulletproof vest.
In a way the writing in the first two issues appears to reflect the comics of the mid-90s, with Sue going for the bright and bubbly heroine bringing to mind X-men characters like Jubilee, while Alex appears to be going for the stereotypical Dark Avenger kind of superhero, a bargain basement Batman.
The majority of the things they have to deal with involve petty street crime, and the character of Ana prefers not to wear a stereotypical superhero costume. This, amusingly, makes the heroes, despite their powers, to be kind of like the "real-life superheroes" who dress up and fight crime - an example being Shadow Hare and his gang in Cincinnati.
In terms of writing the two issues are fairly decent, with the relationships between the twins and between Ana and Sue are well written. Overall solid, if slightly dated.
Moving onto the artwork... ah, this is really the one major flaw with the series so far. The backgrounds and props used are excellent, but the character models shift alarmingly from page to page, and sometimes even from panel to panel. They really are very horrible. Although the art does improve as you make your way through the book, it for the most part remains really bad.
Within each issue, a character wears an item of clothing which there is a knitting pattern for at the back of the comic. For example in the first issue, there is a pocketed scarf designed by Erssie Major, which looks kind of neat.
I don’t knit, at least beyond a kind of wonky scarf I made for my girlfriend for our third anniversary, so I can’t say how helpful it is, but my girlfriend assures me that it’s fairly simple.
All in all, I have to say that so far Handknit Heroes isn’t a truly bad comic. The writing style of the comic may be a little clichéd, and the art could definitely stand to be improved, but all in all it’s a fairly solid piece of work.
For the first two issues I’d have to give something around five out of ten, as it could definitely be improved as the series progresses.