Super Zeros

Columbus Alive | March 17, 2005
You might think that between DC and Marvel, comics have more than enough superheroes cluttering up the shelves. How could we possibly need more?

Well, Superman and Spider-Man may be fine at fighting supervillains, but will they help you wrestle with existential angst, rescue you from a failed marriage or re-purpose your unwanted gifts? That’s where inferior superpeople like Dr. Krunk, Quiet Bird Man, Thrustman, Super Todd, Plush Boy and the other stars of the latest AdHouse anthology book Project: Superior come in. Featuring 14 short stories and more than 280 pages of superhero comics from the sorts of indie artists who never really do superhero comics, the project more than lives up to its name.

Serial anthology contributors like Paul Pope, Scott Morse and Jim Mahfood are represented. (Mahfood makes light of his frequent guest spots with One Page Filler Man, whose sidekick answers the phone to hear a plea for help apparently from the artist: “I just got invited to be in another one of those damn anthologies.”)

Jeffrey Brown contributes a story about a hero/villain whose relationship weirdly resembles the real-life male/female ones he’s written about in his Clumsy and Unlikely. And Graham Annable of Grickle and Stickleback does a funny hero in just four panel-packed pages.

It’s all wrapped in a gorgeous cover by former Columbus resident Paul Hornschemeier, who’s created some weird heroes like Man Shag, Walrus Woman and The Golden Virtue, which we unfortunately never get to see in action.

And that’s just the tip of a very cool iceberg. It probably won’t sink the titanic genre of mainstream superheroes anytime soon, but Project: Superior at least rocks their boat a bit.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
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