Welcome To Indiana 

Lee Cherolis, Editor

Indy Webcomics Group, 2010


3 stars

Indiana has long dreamed of regaining its cultural mojo from the days when artists like the Hoosier Group, and herds of wordsmiths like Tarkington and Riley walked the earth. Comes now the Indy Webcomics Group, a pride of Hoosiers working in that fusion of pictures and prose called graphic storytelling...okay, comic books and strips. Whatever. Welcome to Indiana, their first anthology, contains comic art and stories varying greatly in style and genre, little of it superhero fare. "Skeletons in the Elevator" is "The Office" meets "The Cask of Amontillado." "Berke & Binky's Winter's Tale" depicts a children's Hoosier heartland of strange sights and sounds. "One Too Many Mummies" honors 1950s romance comics and a classic Midwest fast food franchise. The Lilly Endowment funded the car documentary, "History of the Mini." Several stories are samples of strips serialized on the Internet ("Webcomics"). There's much experimentation here, and while the results don't match the slickness of Spiderman or X-Men, they're also less predictable, like new music versus classical warhorses. Mock not the notion of Indiana staging a cultural comeback via comics. Last April, fantasy author -- and comic writer -- Neil Gaiman was in town to receive the Kurt Vonnegut Literature Award. WWW.INDYWEBCOMICS.COM

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