One Shots: The Prophecy Anthology

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PA_Cover.jpgSeveral months ago, I got a package in the mail with a beautiful tabloid size color book. It was the remnants of an indie comics magazine that never was called Prophecy. You see, a group of people passionate about comics got together and tried to put out this magazine on a large scale, and at the last minute, their funding pulled out. So they made the best of it, and produced this book, The Prophecy Anthology, which is no mean feat on its own.

Oversized, with thick, glossy pages, this is truly a grand presentation. Collecting short works from many sequential artists, this volume comes in at just under 200 pages. While there are some names in here you might recognize, like Scott McCloud, you’re also going to meet a great many people you don’t know. And that was the point of prophecy, to let people know that there were comics as broad and ranging in content as any other medium. This anthology is a hefty sampling of the many forms comics can take. There is humor, history, science fiction, poetry, biography, autobiography, horror, crime, and even a board game. And most of it is pretty good. Unless you don’t like anything, you’re guaranteed to be turned on to some new work you never knew about. And if not everything’s for you, at least you get to give it a shot.

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While the short form is not often the best way to get across solid writing, it can be done. But in the stead of long form writing, this book contains so many examples of really fresh, interesting artwork. It’s nearly worth it for that alone. I particularly liked the work of Sam Chivers, who did a story robot trying to find happiness. There was also a fun set of strips on historical figures giving quickie lessons on Nietzsche, Socrates, and Bodidharma, in the Action Philosopher series. And for wacky fun, you can’t beat, Dirty Old God, or Eggs on Crack.

oneshots_jazz.jpgIf you’re itching to read something out of the ordinary, or aren’t sure where to start with indie books, or want to show someone that comics don’t have to have capes, this is a good place to start.

-Josh Flanagan