Publisher: Maximised Comics
Writer/Colourist/Letterer: Colin Maxwell
Artist: Michael Philp
Release Date: 11th March 2017 (Dunfermline Comic Con)
Young Chris Maclean has a big problem. Laid off from his factory job, he finds himself unable to help out with his dad’s medical expenses, prompting his somewhat naive father to turn to a loan shark in order to pay the bills. Desperate for cash, Chris finds himself drawn into a plot by his friends Mark and Sophie to steal £100,000 worth of rare comics from Dunfermline Comic Con, and – as you might expect – all manner of hi-jinks ensue.
The latest offering from Colin Maxwell’s Maximised Comics is a light, breezy affair packed with all manner of local references and comic culture in-jokes. Dunfermline locals will definitely get a kick out of the Michael Philp’s artwork, with various landmarks faithfully recreated here, including the ever-popular Little Shop of Heroes comic shop, itself the driving force behind the aforementioned Comic Con. The story is packed with twists and turns, and while it isn’t too ambitious, there’s an enjoyable tone to the book that will clearly appeal to younger readers.
Philp’s artwork is solid enough, if perhaps a little rough around the edges, but his layouts flow smoothly and the character designs – particularly once the Con gets rolling – really help to capture the excitement and energy of the story. Maxwell’s colours are bright and lively, even if they do look a little overly ‘digital’ in places, giving the book a somewhat sterile appearance at times.
Ultimately then, while it does focus a little too heavily at times on delivering an advert for Dunfermline Comic Con, the story itself provides a fairly enjoyable heist caper with a likeable protagonist and a colourful cast of characters. Obviously the Big Comic Con is going to play a lot better with readers who recognise the people and places involved, as well as those more familiar with comic con culture in general, but there’s still more than enough fun to be had here for casual readers, and for younger readers in particular.
You can grab (not steal!) yourself a copy of The Big Comic Con at Dunfermline Comic Con on the 11th of March (check out their official Facebook Page for more details, including their frankly stellar guest list), and from the Maximised Comics Online Store shortly thereafter.