"Ugli Studios Presents: Volume 1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Ugli Studios
Written by Jason Lenox & David Paul
Illustrated by Jason Lenox
2012, 32 Pages
Indie publisher Ugli Studios has released their premier title in the style of the EC Comics of old. You get two stories for the price of one in Ugli Studios Presents. First up is Through the Eyes of Grizelda, a fantasy story focused on a mad necromancer named Amon Kadesh and his feline familiar Grizelda. The comic is told from the eyes of the cat, who is clearly much more than a house pet. She values the comfortable lifestyle that she's come to expect in the hands of her consort, so she's okay with turning into a huge beast to destroy anyone that opposes him.
Next up is The Great Vermin, a sci-fi story with a great Twilight Zone style twist. A group of soldiers are sent to an infected planet to exterminate the scourge that has risen up there. It's a slow burn with a very creepy vibe to it as the truth behind their mission is revealed.
The art on both projects was handled by Jason Lenox, who also co-wrote the book. His style is very clean, but he's better at animals and monsters than he is at humans. Many of the warriors in Grizelda look flat or stiff. The huge beast that literally stomps or eats the invading army is great and thoroughly terrifying. Similarly in Vermin, the humans we encounter are a little awkward in position, but the soldiers in their space suits have a uniform faceless look to them that makes them very creepy.
The issue is also packed with pinups and extra artwork to give you more looks at the characters in both stories. It's a nice added bonus.
Ugli Studios Presents is an impressive outing for a small publisher. The book is in full color and it's clear that the creators didn't skimp on their work. It's a quality product that's been a work in progress for several months. I like that writers Jason Lenox and David Paul mixed it up a bit in terms of the type of horror stories included in this volume, too. You'd expect them to go to the standard boring zombie story that everyone else has been doing lately, but that's not the case here. You get a nice variation with the dark fantasy in Grizelda (even though it includes a Necromancer, which I guess technically falls into the zombie category) and the sci-fi horror in The Great Vermin.
You can order a copy of Ugli Studios Presents: Volume 1 from DriveThruComics.