Publisher: IF? Commix
Writer: Andrez Bergen
Artists: Matt Kyme, Adam Rose, Ken Best, Gareth Colliton, Asela de Silva, Simon A. Wright
From Australian indie comics publisher IF? Commix comes Tales to Admonish volume 1 which collects the first three issues containing “lavish yarns of iffy derring-do” as described by creators and If? Commix founders Andrez Bergen and Matt Kyme. Tales to Admonish is an anthology of thirteen short stories offering a bizarre and quirky take on well established comic concepts from the revered classic superhero to hard-boiled detective noir, with some If? Commix staples, like Bullet Gal, making cameo appearances. Tales to Admonish may not actually admonish you, but it is a fun collection of stories with great artwork all round.
The entire collection covers a range of different genres from crime capers, to superhero failures, to stories that can’t really be categorised. My own personal favourites were the adventures of Scherer and Miller who pop in several stories reminiscent of old Scooby-Doo cartoons, in which the classic hard-boilded detective is paired with the know-it-all teenage girl to investigate paranormal cases while debating the ethical implications of the evils they are fighting. However, even if that’s not your thing then there are plenty more stories to love.
As the sole writer on the series Bergen’s own quirky narrative style persists throughout and, though the writing is great, the lack of other creative input is noticeable. However, this problem is partly addressed by the constantly shifting roster of artists taking it in turns to bring Bergen’s ideas to life and to give every story its own flavour.
It might have been refreshing to have other contributing writers, but overall Tales to Admonish is a wonderfully unique collection of stories ranging from the classic short to the absurd parody and definitely worth a read.