A little late but better than never? The third edition of the solid-to-really-good anthology Inbound: Comics From Boston from the Boston Comics Roundtable group is all about the romance, the love, the heartache and pain and that's worth reading about now just as much as when I first read through this book back in the Spring.
The cover of the comic is by Matt Reidsma and included within are the stories "Untitled" by Franklin Einspruch, "First Kiss” by Robert Sergel, “Puppy Love Eternal” by Aya Rothwell, “Fear” by Chris O’Neill, “Just an Old Fashioned Zombie Love Song” by Eric Boeker, “Wish Me Luck” by Donna Martinez and Joesph Peters, “Colossa” by Braden Lamb, “An Afternoon Session” by Hyun Supul, “A Winter’s Prelude” by Roho, * “The Prince” by Carl Tsui, “From Afar” by Dan Mazur and “A Gothic Romance” by James Mobius.
Highlights for me – the the haiku-like poetry of Einspruch's "Untitled", a meditation of contented love; the just-right tone of "Fear" and it's tale of a date gone… about as expected?; and the brilliantly funny psychiatric take on Snow White's Stepmom from hell in "An Afternoon Session." The time travel, unrequited geek-love story of "From Afar" is also nicely done and a good story to end the anthology on (Although the one joke, one page "A Gothic Romance" actually takes up the very last page).
"First Kiss" is simple and effective, but perhaps too obvious in how it tells its tale of a first kiss gone wrong. I also really liked the dynamic artwork for "Puppy Love Eternal" but just wish there had been a bit more to it. Overall in the book, there's definitely a tilt towards the awkwardness of love with a large dose of science fiction and fantasy sprinkled around. The only story that really goes for teh sexy is "Wish Me Luck" which is well drawn, but unfortunately leaves out all but the most superficial of characterization and so didn't really pull me in very much.
It's a lot of good comics for $8 and you can get it for a bit cheaper per book by buying it in combination with earlier editions in this anthology series. Also worth looking out for is Outbound — a science fiction-focused anthology from the Boston Comics Roundtable that just went into its second printing this summer. Read more about that at its blog here.
Note: The editor provided a free copy to ComixTalk for review purposes.