SteamPunk Originals, Volume 2
Written by Various
Art, Color and Letters by Various
Coordinated and Edited by Mike Schneider
Additional Art by Mike Schneider and Anne-Marie Woolley
Release Date: January 29, 2014
Cover Price: $14.95
For everyone that was a part of this comic, I apologize. There is no way I could get everyone’s name listed above and still have this format in any decent way. There are no less than fifty people attached to SteamPunk Original, Volume 2 and I couldn’t, in good faith, only pick a few names to spotlight. Open call anthologies such as this are a massive undertaking and I applaud everyone for their hard work here.
Mike Schneider edited this collection of twenty-four stories for Arcana Studios. It also appears that he had his hands in several of the individual tales. A compilation like this is bound to have a little bit of everything and this particular one definitely fits the bill. Ranging from very juvenile in their focus to the extremely heart wrenching, the comics contained in this book are sometimes bits and pieces of a larger tale and just short self-contained stories at other times. I’m going to mention just a few that caught my attention.
Forged In Pride tells the story of a man who means to defeat death by becoming immortal by any means necessary. But everything has a price, as he soon finds out. Falling In Love reveals the darker side of human nature and shows that not everything can be purchased. When Pigs Fly reminds us of times past when intelligence and ingenuity was seen as a detriment.
In the story Pristine, we are forced to remember that not everything that man creates is going to live up to his expectations. Actions speak louder than words in The Conservatory when a young man finds that out the hard way. The Crystal Kill was perhaps my favorite of the bunch, it features a man who accepts his fate and even rushes to meet it.
There were more than a hundred pages to this graphic novel and I enjoyed the vast majority of the stories. My only problem was that there were a few that didn’t seem to involve anything steampunk. They were set in the right era or realm of possibility, but there was not anything that I would have attached to the concept of steampunk. Hot air balloons are not quite the same as a tractor that utilizes a steam engine. But, I must admit, my complaints are minor in comparison to the end result.
The stories were fun and, for the most part, very passionate. I love indie comics for exactly that fact. Everyone has a story to tell but not everyone gets the chance or has the ability to express it properly. It was a pleasure to read this book and I believe that you would feel the same if this genre is something that appeals to you. It’s not for everyone and there are certainly no superheroes here, just short tales of love, intrigue, ingenuity and death. But if anything here has made you raise an eyebrow, give this graphic novel a chance…it’s a pretty fun read.