Review: The Human Beings #1

Originally posted on Irish Comic News (16/Aug/2017)

Written, illustrated and lettered by Stuart McCune.

Issue one of the Human Beings is the start of a new title produced by Stuart McCune. The Human Beings is an anthology style comic with a variety of content, from random illustrations and one-page comics to stories with a bit more reading to them.

When McCune launched the KickStarter for this issue, he offered pledges their money back if they could find a similar comic to it and send it to him. I can safely saying it’s extremely unlikey that I’ll get my money back. Though considering it means I’m reading a unique comic as a consequence, it’s really not a bad complaint to have.

“The Agreement” opens issue one of the Human Beings as it doesn’t take many panels to see McCune wasn’t messing around when he was promising a book “unlike anything out there at the moment”. It’s an alternative-reality story that really gave me a feel for the alternative-reality in the story. Between the costume design (on one character in particular) and the mixing of familiar and unfamiliar place-names you really did feel as if you’d gone through the looking glass.

“Not Working” was an interesting one to read. Man and a woman begin to have a conversation after the woman decides to pay for both of their drinks. It’s the dialogue that worked for me in this one. The dialogue moves sideways a couple of times and this meant that “not working” could be referring to their respective jobs or a bad breakup.

Issue one also has a few more strips/stories such as “Limits2“, “Pandas”, “Early Evening of a Unique Night”, and one of favourites for my inner music nerd “The six stages of listening to free jazz or Japanese noise or minimal German techno”. It really reminded me of a number of people and their reaction to some of the music they love. It gave me a good laugh when I first read it.

Regarding the art, it’s the McCune art that I know and like from his previous comics. Some of the panels still have that wild abstract kind of background that you only get from a McCune comic. There are a couple of panels, as well as one page illustrations, that a person could just frame and put up on the wall. They just have great visuals going on.

McCune recently had a video Q+A with readers of his comics during which he touched briefly upon where he saw the Human Beings series going. It’s potentially a scale that I wouldn’t have expected from someone publishing via KickStarter campaigns.

That said issues 1-3 are “in the can” and artwork for issue 4 is already being teased on social media so it’s a good series to jump into if you want plenty of small-press comic reading.

Issue one is an excellent start to what is sure to be a distinct comic series in the Irish comic scene.

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