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(Words and art by Tom Manning, Published by Robots & Monkeys Publishing)

I picked this up from a comic shop in Los Angeles, and boy, do I wish that Tom Manning was getting it into other shops as well. I guess I'll just have to send him some money for the next issues, because I really want to know what happens next. The first issue of Runoff reminds me of a variety of things. Its smalltown setting, in Washington State, made me think of the setting of teen drama comic The Waiting Place, and the mystery reminds me of stuff like The X-Files, Strangehaven and the Twilight Zone, to name but a few. Plus, there's a gratuitous monkey reference (yay monkeys!) and a confused trucker, to boot.

Manning's black-and-white brushwork is pretty good too, and he has a neat eye for the lighting of each scene. On a couple of pages, he even uses three different styles for three parallel scenes, which is, quite simply, a brilliant idea. So obvious, but I never see it used that much. Check out Tom's website for more information, and check out the comic too. It's one of the best self-published efforts around and you won't be disappointed.


Anna Jellinek

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