I rarely get all fanboy-ish, trying best to keep as objective as possible when looking at new comics or collected works, but gosh darn it, I love the work of Roger Langridge. Everything I have read by him, from his take on The Muppet Show, to his re-imagining of Lewis Carroll characters in Snarked, to his recently ended 12 issue run on invigorating Popeye for a new generation of readers, always communicates humor, heart, a tinge of the dark, and absolute spot on comic crafting skills. So this morning I was surprised as I was going through my twitter feed to find that he had just released a digital only mini-comic called The Fez, which premiered at the 2D Northern Ireland comics festival this past weekend (thank you to comics news site The Beat for the scoop).
The Fez is a silent hero, constructed as an incarnation of the classic Wells-ian Invisible Man. Langridge rolls out this character with two 5-6 page shorts in this first issue. The first short, “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” has omniscient narration from a rather villainous fellow who feels stalked and threatened by our hero. Langridge uses a lyrical story book approach in constructing the pages of this story, with absolute minimal, stripped down dialogue such as in the first three panels we have “Upon Returning To My Lair/I Met/A Man.” The second short, “Vestige In A Bottle,” has no dialogue or narration, instead relying upon beautifully constructed sequential panels (and the simple pen and ink presentation of the art is just stunning on my device) to tell a rather melancholy story.
With a promise that The Fez will return on the final page, I can now confidently mark two indies from the web, the other being The Private Eye from Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin, for monthly reads from normally more mainstream talent. I am also of course happy to see another creator handling the business of producing high quality comics work for an affordable price ( you get a pdf and a cbz file for $1.59 US, 1£ UK). I seriously doubt that DC or Marvel will ever provide such quality with such price. So put that money you probably have for a decent cup of coffee today towards some good art that will make you smile.
You can go to http://hotelfred.bigcartel.com/product/the-fez-1-pdf-and-cbz-formats to read more and purchase if you so desire.