321: Fast Comics Vol 1
Publisher: Timberwolf Entertainment
Writer(s): Felipe Cagno, Marcos Botelho, Marcelo Maiolo, Vitor Cafaggi, Gustavo Borges, Guilherme Bon, Carlos Ruas, Chris Peter, Lobo Limao, Carlos Estefan, Renato Almeida, Rafael De Latorre
Artist(s): Ig Guara, Paulo Kielwagen, Wilton Santos, Luciano Salles, Felipe Watanabe, Vitor Cafaggi, Gustavo Borges, Romi Carlos, Guilherme Bon, Carlos Ruas, Chris Bolson, Bianca Pinheiro, Rodney Buchemi, Matias Streb, Fabiano Neves, Lobo Limao, Geraldo Borges, Thony Silas, Guilherme Balbi, Mario Cau
Cover: Lucas Leibholz
There is nothing better than a good anthology comic that strives to give you varying styles of art and storytelling. A good portion of that also usually comes from talent that you probably have never heard of which is the best part. Of course almost anyone can throw together a great bunch of nicely drawn stories but a good portion of what makes them great also comes from presentation. That is what sets anthology books like Forty-Five45, Mouse Guard, Moon Lake, and more apart from the rest. In 321: Fast Comics Vol 1 each story is told in three pages with up to two main characters and ending with a twist. The stories are also broken up by a page dedicated to a particular drink which ties into the overall bar theme that the book has going on. There’s also the menu format that separates the various stories into certain drink categories as well.
As far as the stories themselves, they range from mystery to fantasy to sci-fi to downright weird! The opener, “Mayday”, by Felipe Cagno, Ig Guara, and Ivan Nunes, was a great starter. A warrior is fighting her way through a jungle against monsters out of an H. R. Geiger nightmare! The artwork is superb and really makes you wish it went on for several more pages. As you go further down the rabbit hole there are stories like “Fireworks” that just tug on the heart strings. It’s a quiet little story that is told by the beautiful art of Gustavo Borges. There’s a very humorous nod to a well known superhero titled “Up, Up and Away” that reminds me of the “Buttons and Mindy” sketch from Animaniacs. Though this is one of the more lighthearted entries I’d have to say that “Evolution…” and “A True Panda’s Love” are the top stories in that category. Each has a great team that nails the story beats and provides a great twist for both.
To say there is something for everyone in here might be a bit of an understatement. The twenty-one stories range from sci-fi to fantasy to horror and more with each one standing on it’s own with a different feel than the story that came before. There’s even a few morality tales as well as some that are just weird to satisfy your tastes if that’s your thing. Either way, 321: Fast Comics makes sure that it’s strength lies in the variety and high quality of the stories in the pages and not on name recognition. Now, you might not recognize the names from the creative teams but don’t let that deter you. If anything it should drive you to want to see work from someone new and outside of what you’re currently used to. Felipe Cagno brought together some phenomenal individuals for this collection of stories and after reading this, I’m glad he did.
If I have one complaint it would be the cover. Unfortunately this cover would have had a hard time grabbing my attention had I seen it on the shelf of my local comic shop. It’s not that I feel like it’s a bad looking cover, and it’s obvious it ties into the theme of the book, but it just really doesn’t hold up after you’ve read everything inside.
321: Fast Comics is an anthology that is worth your time, money, and attention so do yourself a favor and pick it up. There’s something for everyone and even that part of you that might have forgotten why you started reading comics in the first place!