If you're tired of superheroes, or just want to read about something a little bit different, these three comics about monsters and otherworldly creatures might be for you.
1. The Center for Otherworld Science #1
It's not that rare, you know. Field deaths. And about me and him, we were just lonely one time. It happens. Everyone loved him! I barely liked him!"
The Center for Otherworld Science is an odd little indie comic, with the tagline "a story about monsters and people". It's the creation of Shin Ying Khor. The first issue contains two stories, Passage and Aftermath. In Passage, a young blue bug creature wanders off while his parent is sleeping and goes on a little adventure in which he encounters humans. The second story, Aftermath, is about one of the humans awkwardly grieving for a colleague she didn't know very well who was killed during the first story.
The art is done in full colour in watercolours and ink. It's a little sketchy and unfinished looking, but the monsters (bugs?) are adorable. The humans all looking the same in their Hazmat suits reminded me a little of the web comic XKCD.
It's a quirky, cute little story, told in four issues.
2. Mirror #1
There were so many, small, big, clawed, winged... And amongst them, one voice to warm hearts. "We want to live!" she shouted. 'And we will live as we like!' "
On the Irzah Colony, a mage creates humanoid creatures out of animals, like a magical Doctor Moreau. A young boy called Ivan has a dog named Sena who is transformed into a talking, humanoid creature. Sena is then instrumental in a revolt against the humans by other animals. Years later Ivan is imprisoned and forced to work for the other mages, and sends his humanoid lab rat, Zun, on a quest to find Sena out in the wild.
At least, that's what I think is going on, but to be honest, the story is quite confusing and the world building is vague. Hopefully it will become clearer in later issues. The art is beautiful, painted in watercolours with some great character design, and the artist does some clever, creative things with the way the panels are set out.
Mirror is written by Emma Rios, of Pretty Deadly, and illustrated by Hwei Lim, of the webcomic Hero and illustrator of the children's books Spirits of the Sea and Dragonhearted.
Issues 1-5 have been collected into a trade paperback called Mirror: The Mountain. 3. Figment #1
"Some people see the world as it is. They believe the environment around them is static, immutable and that setbacks are a sign that they should settle for what they have. I prefer to think of the world as it could be. It's a journey to create something bigger and better. If I don't try I'll never know how big it could be".
Blarion Mercurial, a young inventor, is supposed to be coming up with a new source of energy. His creation, the Integrated Mesmonic Converter, is designed to harness the energy of the mind. When Mercurial tests it he accidentally creates Figment, a small purple dragon, brought forth from the inventor's imagination. His boss is less than pleased and interferes with the machine, accidentally sucking both Mercurial and Figment through a portal and into a strange world.
Figment is the origin story of the Dreamfinder and Figment, popular characters from the Journey Into Imagination ride at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World. It's a kid- friendly, warm fuzzy kind of story, brought to life this time by Jim Zub, of Skullkickers and Filipe Andrade of Captain Marvel.
Figment is a fun steampunk adventure into a world with its own weird logic, where music can be used to create or destroy things and anything that you can imagine can take shape. It's full of action idealism, and there's a purple dragon- what's not to like?