For those unfamiliar with the concept of a comic anthology, then you may be more familiar with magazines similar to Shonen Jump. They are one and the same. Brought to us by Jack Briglio and Markosia Press, Flip is the latest addition to the world of anthologies. Volume 2 brings us 8 stories of the world flipped in different directions. The art styles vary and the writing does too.
Derek kunsken and Trevor Markwart
Frankenpuppy takes place in a world where monsters aren’t just real, but the dominant species and society on earth. The focus of this story though is on a good old fashioned family; of frankensteins. If the Flintstones are the modern stone age family then this family is the 1950’s family turned undead. The father is a hard worker, wife caring, and daughter playful. The heart of the story is in the fathers search to get his daughter the puppy she wants. It takes us through the love he and his wife have for eachother, their place in the community, and even their love for their daughter; Francie. It reads like a Munsters spin off, but you’re not stuck wondering if Eddie is really Herman’s kid. The most interesting one is the spark between a husband and wife being reignited as they do the forbidden.
Mike Heneghan and David Brame
On an earth in the distant future with space travel and androids, people are still ride sharing. Our protagonist is a driver for Buddykar and doing his best to make enough money driving people around. His goal is endangered though when his hard work brings competition though. Our protagonist, Lua, is a young man driving away to save up money to move to Titan. He lives like a hermit in his apartment so detached from the world and yet working in it. When the rivalry begins and his dreams are put at risk we begin to see how far his actual detachment from reality has gone. Lua’s emotional highs and lows are so confined within his own world though that when the story picks up and actions unfold outside of his little apartment we see the true level of detachment he has. In this story it’s possible you’ll see someone you know or even yourself in Lua. Within his actions though ( and it’s up to you to determine if he is justified or not) you see him come to life and break out of his little world as the real world comes crashing in.
Brandon Crilly, Scott Drummond, and Ian Sharman
We often say that justice is blind and in this world that is the opposite. Justice is not blind, but ever-present in the lives of people and sought out in a balanced way. Damir is our lead in this world. He’s bullied and made the victim of a meme based on him. So, the principal determines that he is old enough to participate in the system of justice. Damir’s contemplation of proper justice for how he was wronged is something that has a deeper meaning than I thought Upon my first reading. On my second reading, I realized that justice is hard and it really begs the question; what is justice at the end of the day? This story had me thinking the most afterward about what I’d do in this situation and is my favorite in the collection.
Jack Briglio, Miguel Jorge, Jacky Filpe and Ian Sharman
The zombie apocalypse has gone down on this earth and in this brief tale we follow the short ventures of a zombie. It’s humorous and turns the typical death in this genre on its head AKA flips it. It’s short and comes off as more of a poem with the dialogue. There is something more interesting in the flipped method of killing a zombie in this. It feels like it baits & switches though and the better concept is just left alone. It left me wanting to know more about that, but getting nothing.
Josh Stafford, Paulo Montes and Ian Sharman
Max is our lead on this flipped earth. A scientist who makes a world-changing discovery. A discovery that if taken seriously could save humanity or if shrugged off could doom humanity. This tale takes us through max’s increasingly hard life to get people to take his discovery seriously. It rings of that moment we often have as people in which we try so hard to get others to believe us only to be met with disbelief or vindication. Beyond that though, it uses a very real cosmic occurrence to make the story feel real. It’s structured in such a way as to leave the reader wondering about the actual outcome. The uncertainty only helps the story deliver its message more though.
By Jack Briglio, Hugh Rookwood and Brenda Weeks
Monkey Business follows three Italian men born old and aging in reverse. They live through school, war, and family life. All this while pulling a benjamin button. This is a heavy metaphor for how we live and the execution though reverse aging highlights an often overlooked aspect of how we live. Sometimes the oldest of us have the most youthful energy and these three friends are in that group. It’s even more highlighted by the people present who age normally. This does make the whole metaphor of the story a little hamfisted, but when the men become older and start living more complex lives you forget about it. So while hamfisted it does lessen up as the story continues.
Jack Briglio, Hugh Rookwood and Brenda Weeks
With a world more advanced than our own; NEXT is about two men waiting to be the first to get the latest phone. Our protagonists are two guys who just have to be the first to have the latest phone by any means necessary. This story doesn’t flip the idea of waiting for a new product as much as humorously takes the idea of waiting to extreme and absurd lengths. It’s funny and the heavily cartoonish art style keeps it light-hearted. The best part though is the ending punchline.
Dan Collins, Andrew Clark, Audra Balion and Ian Sharman
Life insurance is a concept most adults are familiar with. It’s a financial safety net for your family in case the worst happens to someone. In this flipped world Life insurance is taken literally. Your life is insured against death. Using incredible microtime technology an insurance company works to keep you alive as long as your policy is paid. This leads us to Mr. Carmichael, whose policy for his son was canceled. This is an enjoyable story, but one we’ve seen before about corporate greed and a lack of humanity. The story is told in a new way by making a company’s purpose literal. As Carmichael seeks answers for the policy change he learns the extent that this company goes to always make a profit. It’s greed taken to the point of playing god and even reading it brings up anger and sympathy. So when the climax occurs it feels reasonable, but is it? As the reader, this is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Through the various tales told to us in Flip Volume 2 the one consistent theme, whether intentional or not, is the various states of the human condition. Family, detachment from the real world, revenge, life, death and hope are all on display in this volume. The stories, despite how drastically different from our own world, capture feelings that I think we’ve all felt or will through life. It’s the strongest point in this collection. If you want the feels then this will give you the feels.