REVIEW: FUTUREQUAKE 18
What’s that rumbling in the distance? It’s the return of Futurequake, the long-running small press success which, with #18, continues to serve up one-off stories by unknown creators.
Although based on the formula 2000AD uses for its Future Shock one-offs, Futurequake follows a venerable science fiction tradition of snappy little short stories which are designed to shock with a twist in the tail. That’s a difficult thing to do after decades of established writers doing the same thing but, regardless, people keep trying. As Futurequake #18 shows, it’s still possible to take the old formula and do something fresh with it.
It’s hard to review this sort of story without giving away their endings but, if a successful twist is the measure of success, The Counter Reality Incident is probably the best piece in the issue. Written by John A. Short, it tells of a reality breaking down in silly, Fortean ways, and Alex Patterson’s kinetic, cartoonish art suits the story well.
There’s another winner in Spirit Leveller, a spooky short by Lawrence Conquest with unusual art by Conor Boyle. Its light, textured style normally wouldn’t work in a modern comic, but does suit the supernatural subject and crams in plenty of detail.
Elsewhere, Addicts by William Tennant and James Feist raises a smile or three, as does Not This Time, Johnny Tomorrow, by Robert Ferrie and Simon Hayes. In particular, Hayes’ MAD Magazine-style art is eye-catching and shows promise, especially in his figures, although the layouts don’t follow the conventions of comics. Another highlight is the cover by Neil Ford, who really should show off his talents in proper comic strip work.
As tends to happen with Futurequake – which draws together a variety of aspiring creators and their long-fermented stories – some stories work better than others. Sometimes the enthusiasm of the creators smothers the storytelling a little, but there are undeniably great ideas throughout the issue. It’s definitely worth a look, although it’s the sort of thing that needs to be dipped into from time to time, rather than read all in one go. These are, after all, one-offs.
Big thanks to Mike for this review. You can check out more of his writing over on his blog HERE
More info on Futurequake , including details on how you can order a copy , can be found HERE