Knuckle Heroes

Created, written & lettered by Ray Roche
Art by Jim Lavery

Finally getting into the backlog of Irish small press comic reading. First up is Knuckle Heroes.

Knuckle Heroes follows the adventures of a heroic mountain gorilla named Titus. Titus is smarter than the average gorilla due to a serum invented by Dr Terror, who was attempting to create an army of super soldiers.

From the opening panel, we’re straight into the action. Reader finds out after the initial excitement what was the context of the action. We learn about “The Old Man” and “Dr Terror”. The Old Man is the nemesis of Titus, as well as the ringleader to the rogue experiments created by Dr Terror.

The art has plenty of energy, which is great considering the amount of action in the story. I also enjoyed the wide variety of character design. The cast is primarily made up of the results of Dr Terror’s experiments. Lots of mutated animals, insects, reptiles that have opted to follow The Old Man. The bright colours also work great with the tone of the book.

The internal conflict of Titus was an interesting way to tackle the lead of a superhero book. Titus longs to return to his life prior to being mutated, but at the same time feels a responsibility to use his abilities to make the world a safer place before having the process reversed (with the aid of his partner, Tomka). In contrast, The Old Man wants tear down the whole world as revenge for the experiments done to him by Dr Terror.

Knuckle Heroes was a fun and action packed superhero story. I did enjoy the hyena attack scene and how it played out. The art and writing really played to how silly the scene was and just had fun with it.

I’m really enjoying the variety of stories that Two Pugs are releasing and will be keeping an eye out for the next book to add to the ever growing Two Pugs collection.

LINKS: Two Pugs Publishing website // Ray Roche on Twitter // Jim Lavery on Twitter

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Recent digital drawing study

I recently had some free time to get back to some digital drawing, so had a go at a digital study based on a still from the Fringe TV show.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s a few months easily since I did any drawing and wanted to pick something that would require multiple sessions to complete. It would work as a test for drawing over a longer period of time, as well as testing motivation to keep going until it was completed.

Digital Drawing
Still of Fringe TV show that drawing is based on
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Red Goblin – It Runs In The Family

Red Goblin: It Runs In The Family

Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Color Artist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Inhyuk Lee
Assistant Editor: Lindsey Cohick
Associate Editor: Tom Groneman
Editor: Devin Lewis

I’m quite out of the loop when it comes to latest happenings in Spider-Man related cast and rogues. That, thankfully, isn’t a problem when it comes to enjoying this volume of Red Goblin. As it is collecting the first five issues of the series, it quickly gets the reader up to speed to the essentials. After a couple of pages, we’re into the world of this new hero, the Red Goblin!

Normie and his symbiote, Rascal (appropriate name for him!), are both grappling with legacy and trying to understand where they fit within their respective legacies. Both come from families that are some of the toughest enemies Spider-Man ever faced. Do they continue with the path their families paved before them? Or do they find their own path to travel? These are things that this first volume attempts to grapple with.

The form of Red Goblin is interesting in how Rascal takes a shape closer in shape to a Spider-Man suit when Normie is steering the ship. But when Rascal is given free rein, that shape dramatically changes to a cross between Venom and Green Goblin. This works great as a visual shorthand for the mood of Red Goblin.

I went into this series with no knowledge of Normie as a character, it was a pleasant surprise to see the character being so young. Younger than Parker when he became Spider-Man. Add to that, being the son and grandson of the two Green Goblins while also having a piece of Venom as their own symbiote! That’s a lot of history to explore from the perspective of a young kid.  Just by existing, Red Goblin is already positioned in the heart of Spider-Man’s gallery of villains.

The art conveys the range of challenges of young Normie’s life wonderfully. Whether it’s dealing with school bullies or fighting off hordes of the Goblin King’s hordes, it all looks great on the page. The action scenes have a great energy to them while conveying the desire of Normie to be an equal to Spider-Man when it comes to fighting off the villains. The colours equally set the mood, be it the sewers of the city, the school or a battle in the air above the city. It all looks great on the page.

The lettering also manages to catch which of the two minds is controlling Red Goblin by having very distinct designs of word balloons for each. It also helps quickly identify when Rascal is altering Normie’s voice so that the people Normie is talking to don’t realise it’s him.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It’s a new character that’s finding their feet with their new abilities. You add in the connections to Green Goblin and Venom, and you have lots of avenues to explore. I enjoyed reading Normie try to work out who they want to be now that they have all this potential that Rascal has given them. He is so conflicted when it comes to deciding to be a hero or a villain.

I really want to see where this series takes Normie and Rascal. I will be keeping an eye out for the next volume when it’s released.

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The Adventures of Meep

The adventures of Meep (a tale of growing up with undiagnosed autism)

By sweetBunniCreations 

A charming comic by Sweet Bunni Creations (Etsy shop here) I happened upon on Twitter. I was interested in grabbing a copy of the comic after seeing some of the creator’s art shared on their social media. One quick stop on Etsy, and a few days later the zine dropped through the letterbox.

The first thing that struck me was the format. Generally, each page was split in two. On the top section was a panel relating to the caption/text on the bottom part of the page (example included below). The format makes for a pleasant way to move through story/information provided in the comic.

The art is really cute, which makes sense since it’s “a tale about a fairy bunny called Meep.” Meep immediately (at least for me) feels like a name for a kids TV character. And who better to guide people through a journey relating to mental health. It’s a very welcoming atmosphere the zine is creating for the reader. Not everything covered is sunshine and laughter, but the visuals do a great job in providing a counterweight to the more serious/sad parts of the text.

In terms of relaying the experience of Meep living with undiagnosed autism. I found it to be engaging and informative read to understand to how autism can influence how some folk with experience the world around them. Particularly if they aren’t diagnosed yet (or were diagnosed in adulthood).

The Adventures of Meep is available to buy on Etsy.

Sweet Bunni Creations on Twitter.

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My guest appearance on the Two Pugscast

I can’t believe I have forgotten to share this guest appearance on the Two Pugscast with Ray Roche and Jim Lavery here.

This is not something I ever expected to do, not a fan of cameras in general, but Ray and Jim were great at get a relaxed atmosphere going before we dove into our chat.

It was a lot of fun.

I hope you enjoy it.

To find comics by Ray and Jim, you can head over to the Two Pugs Publishing website. There’s plenty to choose from over there.

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NCBD (31/May/2023)


  • Mindset
  • The Color of Always – an LGBTQIA+ love anthology
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