The Comic Queen

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Phase 7 #5 Review

Created by Alec Longstreth

Our local comic book shop doesn’t have much in the way of self-published comics. Every time I get a chance, I pop down to Seattle and pick up books that just aren’t available in our small northwest Washington hamlet.

This time around, I grabbed Alec Longstreth’s Phase 7 #5. The 32-page 8.5 x 11 black and white book was published in September. The inside-cover notes that this is the only issue of Phase 7 to come out this year.

I’m not familiar with Longstreth’s work, but I jumped on at a good time. This issue marks that first chapter in a five-part storyline dubbed “Basewood.” The story is interesting right from the get go. The main character wakes up beaten and lost in the middle of the woods. As one would expect from a first issue, a lot of set up occurs on its pages. The rest of the book details the adventure the main character goes through in trying to figure out what exactly is going on and how he got to be lost.

If I can find one fault in the writing of this book, it’s that Longstreth doesn’t give the reader any answers. Many questions are left at the end and we don’t know when the next issue will come out. I would have liked at least some sort of answer to tide me over. That is just a minor complaint though and I need to just deal with the suspense. The book has many strong points.

The art is the coolest thing about Phase 7. Longstreth is great at drawing both emotion and physical characteristics. When the main character is worried and hurt, he really looks worried and hurt. When he is cold, you can see him shivering. I was very impressed by this.

Phase 7 is a very neat book. Longstreth is a great artist and a good storyteller. The Basewood storyline has some great potential and I hope #6 comes out soon.

Bottom Line: B


  • At 7:24 PM, April 27, 2005, Blogger Alec said…

    Hi! UH... I stumbled onto this review through google. It's ME--ALEC LONGSTRETH!

    Thanks for the kind words about Basewood: Chapter One. I'm sorry so much goes unanswered. I wanted to try and start a story right in the MIDDLE instead of going from beginning to end. So the first chapter, as you said, is just a lot of establishing. I WILL say that every single thing you DO see in the first chapter is VERY important.

    I'm currently working hard on Chapter two, which will hopefully be out by the end of 2005 (In December?) The original art is 19" x 24" so it is a lot of ink to throw down. Plus I am living in New York now (UGH) so I have to work full time to make rent. I usually only get a few hours in a night at the drafting table.

    Anyways, thanks again for the review. It's always awesome to get feedback! Drop me an email if you want and I'll make sure you get a copy of PHASE 7 #006 when I'm done with it.


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