Dublin-based comic collective and independent publisher Limit Break Comics recently launched five brand new titles at last month’s Dublin Comic Con. We’ve taken a look at what’s on offer!
Old Game Plus #1
Old Game Plus #1 is a short anthology book that takes inspiration from video games. The issue manages to include six short stories from a number of different creators, presented with varying art styles.
The first story, ‘A Warrior’s Journey’, is a take on Street Fighter, following a guy who looks suspiciously like Ken as he discusses his recent loss with his partner and he reflects on the journey he’s taken around the world fighting folks.
The second story, ‘It’s Just Another Saturday’, draws inspiration from skater games, and sees a young woman skating around an empty building, doing tricks, and grabbing collectables. It’s a story with no dialogue or narration, and has a nice art style that looks like a rough sketch. The third story, ‘Speedrun’, seems to be set inside the Resident Evil mansion as the protagonist rushes from room to room to get to their goal, trying to speed run the game. This was a fun look at this unique area of gaming.
The fourth story, ‘Brake, Brake, Accelerate’, looks to have drawn inspiration from futuristic racing games like F-Zero, and is another story told without any dialogue. The art looks really nice here, with some lovely crisp drawings and a nice muted colour palette. ‘Weapon of Choice’ is the one story where I couldn’t pick out one specific game that it might have drawn inspiration from, and instead seems to be a nod to fantasy games in general. It’s a neat little story that will have you guessing what might come next, with some great art.
The final entry is ‘For The Love of the Game’, which sees an adventurer doing a run through a lost jungle temple, doing their best to avoid traps. Once again, this story was delivered without dialogue, and relies on the really pretty art to tell the story. Old Game Plus is a nice mix of different stories, all of which will seem familiar to gamers, and felt like a great intro to the new wave of Limit Break books.
LENS is the biggest book on offer from this new wave of releases, and brings together a number of comic shorts that were originally published in other titles, to create one cohesive narrative.
The story follows the contract killer Lens, a woman who uses her position as a photo journalist to gain access to her targets. When Lens is hired to kill the CEO of a major corporation she finds herself being pushed to her limits and having to rely on all of her skills just to stay alive.
Written by Garry Moloney, LENS moves at a pretty fast pace, especially as it was originally broken down into small parts. Because of how it was originally published the story doesn’t hang around, and has some short scenes. Despite this, it manages to flow really well and you get a good sense of who Lens and the other characters are without being able to spend a whole lot of time with them.
The artwork, provided by Raquel Kusiak, certainly looks unique, with very thin, angular looking people with bold facial features. Kusiak also uses a very limited colour palette depending on the scene, with one colour dominating each scene. It gives the book a very bold look, one that has its own sense of style.
Plexus #2 is the second issue in another Limit Break Comics anthology series, this time focusing on science fiction themes and technology.
The first story in the issue, ‘Ghosts’, follows Tommy, a guy whose apartment building seems to be haunted by some kind of ghost that inhabits technology. Whilst at first Tommy and the entity come into conflict, as the story progresses we learn more about what this creature is and where it came from, and see the relationship between the two of them change. This story is interesting, and pretty bold in a few ways, and boasts a cool art style that really works for this story.
The second story, ‘Run’, centres on a scientist who’s forced to run for his life through a ruined world, where pieces of earth hang in a white void of destruction, floating in a nothingness of annihilation. The man is desperate to get to one particular building, where he believes the means to his escape lies.
There are a lot of small nods and winks to other sci-fi stories in this tale, particularly thanks to small details in the art where you’re able to pick out stuff like the TARDIS console, and the Stargate amongst others. This is definitely the shortest feeling story of the three, but has an enjoyable twist ending that makes it worth reading.
The final story, ‘Oneira’, sees a man being haunted by nightmare-like people he can’t understand. This story is probably the hardest to follow, due in large part to the very strange art style used. It feels twisted and disjointed, like visualising a nightmare, and because of this I honestly couldn’t tell you what this story was about.
Overall the quality of Plexus #2 was good, with longer stories than the other anthology books on offer. However, with one of the stories making little to no sense I can’t say I enjoyed it as much as Old Game Plus.
Meouch #2 is the second issue in a series that began back in 2019, which follows the adventures of a cat assassin as he tries to deal with some rival killers, and a deal that goes horribly wrong when he’s double crossed.
This issue picks up where the first left off, as Frankie returns to his employers’ building looking to get answers about why he was double crossed. This leads him into conflict with rival cat killers and he’s forced to run for his life. With no other options open to him, Frankie plans an assault on the home base of the man responsible for the whole thing, Doggo Shady.
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Written by Paul Carroll, with art by Gareth Luby and Rebecca Nalty, Meouch is a very silly book, one that is trying to combine the brutal horror of murder and the cliches of action movies with small furry animals.
On occasion it works, but more often than not it feels like the book is going too far into the silliness, and doesn’t feel particularly entertaining, especially with all of the cat puns. Another thing that doesn’t help this title at all is that it’s been three years since the first issue was released. With the fact that this is an ongoing story it seems like a tough thing to recommend a series where you have to wait years between chapters.
Limit Break Presents #1
Another anthology title, Limit Break Presents is the first issue of a new anthology series that brings together three groups of creators to tell stories tied together by a central theme. The theme of this issue isn’t hugely obvious, though may be something like ‘being yourself’ or ‘overcoming your insecurities’, but this isn’t hugely obvious. Whatever the theme, this book’s stories are pretty entertaining.
The first, ‘How Do I Look?’ sees a couple getting ready for an evening at a gala event. Presented in black and white, the story follows a man and woman as they prepare for an evening out, with the man having some misgivings and thoughts about whether what they’re doing is right.
The second story, ‘Shine’, is a huge contrast to the first. Presented in bright, bold colours, and with a very animated and stylised art, this story follows a couple of super-powered school teens as one of them has a meltdown in the bathroom. Unable to control her power, and worrying about what people are saying about her, it’s only when her friend comes to reassure her that she can learn to just let it all go and be herself. The story is pretty nice, has a lovely look to it, and a great message about being true to yourself.
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The final story, ‘Tomb of the Unworthy’, sees a young internet influencer trying to break her way into an ancient temple in order to take a selfie with an artefact everyone is trying to get to. This is an interesting story, with some good art, and feels much more like a self contained narrative than the others. It makes its points well, and doesn’t feel like there’s much more to tell than’s already presented here. Despite the theme of this issue not being hugely obvious Limit Break Presents proved to be a great anthology collection, with some interesting stories with some bold and different styles that all stand out from each other and look great on the page.
Limit Break Comics seems to be the best when working in the anthology format, with four of the five new releases doing so. The only book that is part of an ongoing narrative is Meouch, and this was definitely the weakest of the set. If you’re looking for some interesting short stories and aren’t wanting anything big to read, these titles might just be perfect for you.
All of these titles are available now from Limit Break Comics.