Tuesday, July 26, 2022

#IReadsYou Review: ECTYRON OMNIBUS, Vol. 1


STORY: Carter Allen; Austin Allen Hamblin; Leroy Douresseaux
SCRIPT: John Ira Thomas; Austin Allen Hamblin; Leroy Douresseaux
ART: Carter Allen
LETTERS: John Ira Thomas
COVER: Carter Allen
BACK COVER: Carter Allen
MISC ART: Will Grant; Christopher Martinez
ISBN: 978-0-9895371-8-6; paperback (June 21, 2022)
136pp, Color, $24.95 U.S.

Comic book writer-artist and graphic novelist, Carter Allen, has been publishing a series of comic books and graphic novels featuring a “kaiju” character known as “Ectyron! The Radioactive Chicken!”  Candle Light Press and Allen's Warning Comics published three Ectyron comic books:  Ectyron Against Lagaxtu (2017), Ectyron: Rise of Nemehiss (2018), and Ectyron: The Invasion from the Red Star Nebula (2019).

Now, CLP and Warning Comics have collected together for the first time the first three Ectyron comic books in the graphic novel and trade paperback collection, Ectyron Omnibus Vol. 1.  This book also includes the numerous full color as illustrations that Allen has committed for this series.

Ectyron Omnibus Vol. 1 also includes bonus material.  There is a new Ectyron short story, entitled “General Clucker vs. Ectyron” written by Austin Allen Hamblin and drawn by Carter Allen.  Then, Carter and I (yes, me, Leroy Douresseaux) introduce Carter's newest kaiju, “Karapace” and our wacky superhero team, “The Big Spirits.”  This five-page preview is entitled, “Karapace: Prelude to Big Spirits” and is drawn by Carter and written by me.

All three Ectyron comics employ particular elements of various Japanese science fiction sub-genres.  “Kaiju” is a term used to describe a genre of Japanese films that feature giant monsters, and the term is also used to describe the giant monsters themselves.  [Godzilla is an example of a kaiju.]  In this case, Ectyron is a giant-sized chicken.  There is also an example of “tokusatsu” the “mecha” or giant robot superheroes.  [“Power Rangers” are an example of “tokusatsu.”]

Here is a recap of the first three Ectyron books:

Ectyron Against Lagaxtu (2017):  Here, comes the super-cyborg warrior hero, AtoM.I.K.E.  He is always on the lookout for the kind of giant monster that hides beneath the Earth before finally surfacing to wreak havoc.  Lagaxtu is one of those monsters, a “kaiju,” a beast like Japan's Godzilla.  AtoM.I.K.E. (a “tokusatsu” like character) can kick some monster butt, but he will need help from another behemoth beast, one that can sense evil.  Here, comes Ectyron!

Ectyron: Rise of Nemehiss (2018):  From the Great Basin Desert, Jake and the kaiju fighters of “Sustenatione Stabilitas Base” take on the giant-goose kaiju, “Nemehiss.”  Victory is not assured, however, unless they can get help from... Ectyron!

Ectyron: The Invasion from the Red Star Nebula (2019): The kaiju fighters of Sustenatione Stabilitas Base join the kaiju fighting mecha, “AtoM.I.K.E.”  They take on a mecha version of Ectyron, vicious alien invaders from the Red Star Nebula, and “Men in Black” agents.  But where is the real Ectyron?

Bonus stories:

General Clucker vs. Ectyron (2022):  Karl Clucker is the heir to the legacy of the “General Clucker's Chicken” fried chicken restaurant franchise.  Unfortunately for Clucker, however, people seem to be eating less chicken out of respect for Ectyron.  Embittered, Clucker decides to make himself just the kind of man or kaiju that can take on Ectyron … with unexpected results.

Karapace: Prelude to Big Spirits (2022):  Aboard a fishing boat, a sleeping psychic receives a warning about the natural world's ultimate kaiju of vengeance and balance.  But can the young woman gather enough help to stop Karapace?!

THE LOWDOWN:  Ectyron: The Invasion from the Red Star Nebula is, thus far, my favorite Ectyron publication.  It easily surpasses the first two releases, Ectyron: Rise of Nemehiss (the second) and Ectyron Against Lagaxtu (the first), which were quite good themselves.

A cartoonist and graphic designer, Carter Allen, fills his comic books with Godzilla-sized creations, which includes monsters, beasts, machines, and contraptions.  However, there also improbable heroes of all shapes, colors, genders, and sizes.  In black and white and in full color, Ectyron comics are pure comic book fun rendered in texture pencil illustrations, pencil and ink; software, and marker.  Allen recreates the wild, the weird, and the wonderful of traditional American superhero, science fiction, horror, monster, and action-adventure comic books – with the infusion of Japanese sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero, of course.

In “General Clucker vs. Ectyron,” Allen's illustrative and coloring style and techniques take a turn, which is a way that he keeps his comic books fresh.  He has also found a kindred spirit in writer Austin Allen Hamblin, as this short captures the spirit of the original Ectyron comics.  Allen's dynamic art, with it energetic array of angles, and Hamblin's mix of B-movie and monster comics elements come together to create a colorful tale of pugnacious characters that deserves an encore.

As for Carter Allen and Leroy's collabo, “Karapace: Prelude to Big Spirits,” it is a sweet sample of our comic book masala, made of ingredients from old comics and cartoons.  There is more to come.

Meanwhile, Ectyron Omnibus Vol. 1 is the best way to experience Carter Allen's way-out-there inventions of imagination.  His Ectyron comic books, like many of his works, are a sequence of unexpected events.  Allen is great solo, but Ectyron Omnibus Vol. 1 provides a look at his quirky group of collaborators.  Some of them joined him on the original Ectyron comic books and showed their originality.  And that is what Ectyron is about – originality in the spirit of originals.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of kaiju and of Carter Allen will want Ectyron Omnibus Vol. 1.

★★★★+ out of 4 stars

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

Buy Ectyron Omnibus Vol. 1:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ectyron-Omnibus-Carter-Allen/dp/0989537188/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=FPC4RCGP5FQL&keywords=ectyron+omnibus&qid=1657192587&sprefix=%2Caps%2C95&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ectyron-omnibus-carter-allen/1141688819;jsessionid=4050D43796BC5832D603E92F478ED155.prodny_store02-atgap09?ean=9780989537186

Powells: https://www.powells.com/book/ectyron-omnibus-9780989537186


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