Saturday, October 22, 2011

Native Drums

Native Drums is a post-apocalyptic comic book written by Chuck Paschall and art by PunchyNinja- Vince Riley - 17 Machine Studios. One of my favorite comics available through IndyPlanet.

The protagonist (only known as Agent m17) is a cyborg or an augmented soldier in contact with an unseen controller who seems to be stationed in orbit. She communicates with a broadcast transmission via satellites that is guiding her through an operation where she breaks cover to help a young girl caught in the crossfire. Agent is determined to get her out of the combat zone and to safety.

The dialog suggests the story is set in Kenya, Tanzania, or Uganda- definitely somewhere in Eastern Africa. The technology places it in a near future with some of the hardware very familiar, but other tech is clearly sci-fi.

This is a full colored comicbook with a higher level of artistic quality than most of the comics available at Indyplanet. For that matter, the art quality is better than most of the mainstream big companies work (DC and Marvel, I'm looking in your direction), but this is my opinion. It is not purely manga, but you can see it is heavily influenced by Japanese style art. Occasionally some panels more-so than others.

There are three issues so far and the frequency of their release is pretty long between issues. This is the only thing bummer about the comic, but easily forgiven with the quality the wait offers.

I read an article in an issue of Knights of the Dinner Table about the end of the big comic companies and the rise of independents. In their view the big companies are inevitably on their way out by their own doing. This will make way for fresh and raw talent. It's sites like IndyPlanet that will serve to fill that gap. And it's comics like Native Drums that are already doing this. While I still read a couple of the big titles, I look forward to the day when these kinds of comics are more available.

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