Meanwhile… #6 (Soaring Penguin Press)

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And so it’s time to venture back into the pages of what is fast becoming my favourite comics’ periodical, Meanwhile.  Bringing together strange, fantastic, weird, heart-warming, endearing, horrifying and just plain odd stories from some of the best creators working in independent comics, Meanwhile is, once you’ve picked it up and started reading, impossible to put down until you’ve completely consumed it from cover to cover.

In any other issue, the highlights would almost certainly be the continuing heavy hitters, Gary Spencer Millidges long-running and completely absorbing Strangehaven which seems to be rapidly approaching it’s end game as its numerous secrets are finally emerging from the shadows and David Hine and Mark Stafford’s pulp inspired Lovecraftian tale of terror, vengeance and woe, The Bad Bad Place, but this time around, they’ve got some serious competition. Namely Molly Brook’s frank, funny and revealing Fiction & Real Life Are Different, You Moron in which she explores and explains her love of sport (through the medium of Ice Hockey) and literature and how it’s possible to be a part of, and enjoy, all of those worlds without succumbing to the mediocrity and idiocy that is often perpetuated by elements of both, Grzergroz Janusz and Konstantin Komardin’s seriously twisted and disturbing Four Corpses, Krent Able’s Gilbert Shelton and Robert Crumb inspired Newsflash and Rachel Smythe’s cautionary, and darkly hilarious tale of why you should always avoid unknown ducks. And that’s just scratching the surface of the cornucopia of curious, eccentric and eerie delights that dwell in the pages of Meanwhile

A melting pot of  stylistically, wildly varying stories, Meanwhile offers a glimpse into a world of wonders and bizarre imagination and has more than enough gripping and enticing content to please both the most hardened and ardent of four colour fanatics and fresh, face, wild eyed newbies alike. If your tastes are a little more offbeat than the mainstream and you’re looking to indulge in something different that’s thoroughly, and completely, satisfying, then Meanwhile is almost certainly the thing that you’ve been craving.  Take a peek behind the curtain and enjoy the show… Tim Cundle

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