WE’RE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THAT AUDIOCOMICS IS FEATURED IN THE PAGES OF THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE!
A FANTASTIC WRITE-UP ABOUT THE AUDIOCOMICS COMPANY ON PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY’S “LISTEN UP” BLOG! READ ALL ABOUT IT…
WILLIAM DUFRIS INTERVIEWED FOR “THE LOTTERY PARTY!” IT’S RIGHT HERE…
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY: “Saucy and sexy PI Honey West is on the case when a slew of murders occurs on the set of a low-budget sci-fi film. As cast members are knocked off one by one, West must use her wits, charm, and a good strong fist to find out who is killing whom. A fun romping mixture of film noir and chick lit, this comic-turned-audio (based on the characters of G.G. Fickling) has lots of personality, but clocks in at about an hour. The performances of the full cast are at times campy, but that is charming and a perfect fit for the subject matter. For fans of comics and audiobooks, this production is definitely worth the listen—especially if you’re looking for a light and entertaining story.”
RUDY PANUCCI, POPCULT: “This is a great story, told in three fast-moving acts. It’s essentially a radio drama, with top-flight music and sound effects and a very strong cast. One of the strengths of Elaine Lee’s work is that, coming from an acting background, her dialogue sounds very natural when spoken aloud. Her adaptation of the comic book series she did with Ronn Sutton just sounds right. The characters are all believable and the story is engaging. Director, William Dufris, and a sharp cast, featuring Carrington MacDuffie as Honey West, bring Lee’s script to life and capture the spirit of the era and the dark side of Hollywood denizens in decline in a perfect manner.”
AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE: Since the late 1950s, the brash and beautiful Honey West has had a healthy cult following in novels, comics, and television. Now the alluring detective has been adapted to audio, and she’s found the perfect narrator, Carrington MacDuffie. MacDuffie brings all the vocal sass, humor, and smarts needed to break a tough case wide open. In this first episode Honey goes undercover in Hollywood, even taking a bit part in ”Amazons from Mars” to investigate the death of B-movie queen Zu Zu Varga. While the suspects and silly accents stack up quickly, the easy jazz sound scape and MacDuffie’s hard-boiled performance sound just like a comic book should—broad, bright, and colorful. B.P. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2012]
GIL T. WILSON, books.gather.com: “The cast was excellent, giving the story that complete Honey West of the 60s feel. The characters are all perfectly performed and it almost sounds as if you are listening to an old radio show. Great acting, realistic sound effects and the music! The music segues really added an extra oomph! to this performance. They were old jazzy lounge music bits that fit in with the portrayed time and setting of this performance. All of this together makes for a very entertaining production that you should really get for your collection now.”
THE LOTTERY PARTY: “The actual production is spellbinding, with star MacDuffie’s narration and the smooth jazzy score together compelling your attention like one of the better NPR programs. The mind’s eye presents nothing but character actors, all brightly caricaturing iconic archetypes of both crime fiction in general and Tinseltown’s heyday in particular…And although the pace is kept quite casual, a surprising amount of information is luxuriously squeezed in to the experience. What they are accomplishing is so much more than just watching a movie with the screen obscured, with the levels of inference completely astonishing, even on a second or third listen.
“…Look for the impending sequel, which rumor has it will involve some go-go dancing…”
ANDY’S RETROSPACE (UK): “Carrington MacDuffie’s portrayal of Honey West draws the listener into Elaine Lee’s fabulous 3-act script, conjuring up comic-strip images embellished with Roy Lichtenstein’s Benday Dot’s in the listener’s mind’s eye. Incidental music stylised in the roots of the early 1960s and a strong supporting cast of character actors give this audio drama a definitive old-time-radio feel. With hindsight it seems a coincidence that the 1962 events of this story almost run parallel with the mysterious circumstances of the death of a real-life Hollywood starlet – Marilyn Monroe, whose own look seems to have inspired Honey’s visual style. As with Marilyn Monroe, I now find myself smitten with Honey West and look forward to further audio adaptations of her adventures.”
SCRIPTED GENIUS: “There are audiobooks, and then there are audio presentations. In the arena of audio presentations, some are just books that are read with a superb excellence, and others are intended to be listened to. This experience is the latter. Honey West: Murder on Mars is recorded with a cast of voices perfect for the match, complete with acting ability and suspense. Toss in the sound effects, and it’s an old radio broadcast with near-high definition quality. Looking for a murder mystery that’ll take you along for the ride? Hop aboard this audio tale, and join Honey West in this whodunnit adventure…”
COMIC BASTARDS: “The story was originally written by Elaine Lee and AudioComics has actually had her adapt the comic script for the “radio” style format of the recording. The result is a tailor fit story that actually works better in the format than it did as a comic. The acting is very good and consistent throughout the three track recording…Overall I think it was a wise choice to choose Honey West: it has a ton of dialog and is practically a perfect fit for such a project.”
RON FORTIER, PULP FICTION REVIEWS: “‘All’s Fair in War’ is a superb audio treat with great writing, perfect acting; especially by Karen Stillwell as Ellen Patrick/Domino Lady and Peter Carini as McKane. The blues/jazz soundtrack is also a gem and easily sets the story’s atmosphere. If we have one complaint is that this is only the opening chapter in the series and ends much too soon, leaving us wanting a whole lot more. Axt and Audio Comics have produced a top-notch audio recording that is pure pulp goodness. We recommend you order your copy now. You thank us later.”
STEVE ENGLEHART (comics legend, Batman, The Avengers, Silver Surfer, Coyote): “When my oldest son was little, he told me he didn’t like black and white movies, and I told him that it’s not the medium, it’s the skill of the people using the medium that matters. From there he went on to silent movies, and opera…and radio dramas. The new Domino Lady is a fully professional radio drama, with all the skill of the 1940s and the technological superiority of the 2010s. This is not a scratchy MP3 made from an old acetate – this is radio drama at its finest, with real actors and real writers — so spend some evenings with the Domino Lady.”
BROKEN FRONTIER: “As a radio play Titanium Rain could quite easily be listened to by someone unfamiliar with the source material and enjoyed as a gripping piece of audio drama on its own merits. However, I think it works best as complementary material to the book, adding an extra layer of insight and appreciation for its audience into this minutely detailed reality and the motivations of the characters that inhabit it. From that perspective questions of superfluity are easily dismissed.
My fervent hope is that this dip into the transmedia waters proves successful enough for Finney and Rocha to be able to revisit these characters again in the near future, in either format. Fully realised and cleverly conceptualised fictional environments like this don’t come around too often in comics. We need to appreciate them when they do…”
THE LOTTERY PARTY: “The entire production is phenomenal, with layers of sound measured so well that absolutely nothing gets lost in translation. Even with the banter between a group of soldiers, the listener can still hear the radio playing on in the background of their scene, or the white noise of traffic and computer bleeps among the channel-surfing of on the spot journalists reporting their fare. It all presents richly textured imagery, eye candy for the imagination to color by number.
“Special standouts were (Lance Roger) Axt in the lead, giving a mighty strong presentation for all others to follow (though yet still with some honest humility to the performance), and (Elizabeth) Knowelden contributing a touch of genuine sexiness to the warfare (along with some of the more insightful lines), and (Richard) McGonagle as the deep throat narrator, offering the knowing airs of a Walter Cronkite in full effect. And the musical score, written by Sharp, is simply outstanding. Available as its own collection, the score in many ways bridges the gap from electro to industrial, with some sequences harkening back to the kitschy fun of Golan-Globus themes. It’s inventive, moody, explosive, and sonically adventurous.”
AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE: This full-cast, impressively produced drama takes you right into the action of a future Third World War and its battle zones in China. A revolt against the Chinese government has triggered a full-scale conflict, involving the U.S. You’ll be skillfully sucked into the story, suddenly finding yourself in the cockpit, fighting for your life. Yet this is more than action entertainment–the convincing backstory is cleverly exposed through news reports and dialogue. In the present, scenes switch from dogfights in the sky to battle on the ground to tense dialogue without ever confusing the listener. Put on your earphones and fly! H.O.K. 2013 Audies Finalist, Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine
PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY: “Following a band of genetically altered fighter pilots during a global conflict, this impressive audio production follows Alec Killian and his fellow pilots as they discover how they were created, what makes them tick, and what their purpose is in this almost ceaseless war. Boasting thrilling and realistic sound effects, a musical score, and a dynamic full cast, this is an engaging listen that rivals the best classic radio dramas. Based on a comic book series, this production’s only major flaw is that the transitions between scenes are sometimes jarring and difficult to follow without visual cues. Still, fans of comics and listeners who love radio dramas will find a lot to like in this entertaining sci-fi thriller.”
GIL T. WILSON, GIL T.’s PLEASURES: “When you think about comics you think of the intense graphics helping to tell the story, which always intrigues me about how that gets translated into audio form. There are a couple of audiobook companies that do it right and based on the awesome work I’ve heard, the AudioComics company will be one on my list for any future releases.
“AudioComics paints the background, which would normally be done with graphics, with a complete 360 degrees of sound. The explosions the weapons fire and the special effects fill the air just as the graphics would fill the background. These aren’t cheesy effects either. I was listening in my car at one point in the story when the jets were flying and I had to ease off my gas pedal because I felt like I was in the jet as the battle progressed. During the explosions, through my Bose Wave Radio (via aux input), would cause the walls in the room to rumble. This one was a fantastic aural experience.”
DIRK MAGGS (Award-winning Director/Producer, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for BBC Radio): “The AudioComics ‘movie in sound’ based on the bestselling graphic novel by Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, is a high-octane example of how visual a medium audio theatre really is. Starting with a pitched battle in a future war that is all too believable and creating a range of engaging characters whose stories intertwine, AudioComics’ production values never fall below exceptional and the pace is full throttle. One of the best examples of immersive entertainment in a creative field undergoing a huge renaissance at the moment.”
TOM LOPEZ (ZBS Foundation): “Now this is one incredible production, and a great story too. Don’t just take our word for it (we doubt you would anyway), but listen to a few minutes and hear for yourself what an exceptional piece of work this is.”
FRED GREENHALGH/RADIO DRAMA REVIVAL!: “Strap in, crank it up, and let it fly, this is one smokin’ hot production.” Hear the Titanium Rain special on Radio Drama Revival!, featuring selected scenes and interviews with The AudioComics Company and creators Josh Finney and Kat Rocha!
MICHAEL COLBERT (comics/screenwriter, creator of 01Publishing’s Crazy Mary): “If you like your stories smart, intense, well written with crisp dialogue and a hard core concept that comes across smooth this is the story for you. Science fiction/cyberpunk/war story that elevates the genres it’s working in. The graphic novel is amazing and the audio drama replaces all the visual intensity of the book with an aural experience worth the price of admission. You feel the bullets slamming into the jets, the pull of G forces on your chest and a living breathing world inside your ears.”
PATRICK McEVOY (comic artist, Starkweather: Immortal) “As a fan of good science fiction AND audio plays, I’ll say that this one hits on both counts! Based on the excellent graphic novel of the same name, the Titanium Rain audio drama is an outstanding use of the medium. Excellent acting, writing, sound design and music throughout make this a truly gripping and entertaining experience.”
CORISSA BAKER, corissabaker.com: “The exciting graphic novel Titanium Rain is excellently retold in this gripping audio drama produced by the Audio Comics Company. The listener is taken into the philosophical debates of Alec Killian, into the depths of a future warscape, and up into the high-tech cockpit of the F-35X ”Hellcat” as seen in the art of the original work. As one who has been listening to a lot of audio dramas I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of the Titanium Rain Audio Drama. I was so taken away with it that I was ready to hit the replay button immediately after it ended. In fact, I’m listening it to it again now.”
RADIO DRAMA REVIEWS ONLINE: “Titanium Rain is not for the faint-hearted; but nonetheless proves how radio drama provides the ideal medium for presenting epic dramas at minimal cost, with the varied sounds encouraging listeners to use their collective imagination.”
JOSH FINNEY DISCUSSES TITANIUM RAIN WITH BLEEDING COOL: THE BOOK, THE AUDIO, AND THE CONTROVERSY. JUST CLICK HERE!
AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE: Remember Saturday morning cartoons and the crazy “Munsters” TV series of the 1960s? Here’s Audio Comics’ full-cast entry into the comic monster genre, in which an average American family eats brains for breakfast and celebrates Halloween with special gusto. The kids are center stage in this sitcom-style silliness, with Kate Davis as the voice of Valley-girl daughter Carmilla, who just wants to fit in by getting the worst grades, having the worst attitude, and, much to her mother’s delight, sporting the worst hairstyle in her high school. Little brother Fang is the real outcast in the Batson family—he’s nice! Voiced by newcomer Rebecca Myshrall, Fang only sounds adorable while trying desperately to sound vicious. Little ghouls (7-10 years old) who like silly voices and puns will be charmed. B.P. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
MRS. MERRILL’S BOOK BREAK: “The characters in the Batson family will be interesting and appealing to comic lovers both young and young-at-heart. Listeners will enjoy following the plot and character development in this episode about the “monster-nice-guy,” Fang and I eagerly await the next installment of the adventures of the Batson family and their escapades.” (Review of: The Trouble with Fang!)
ROBERT HAYNES, OPPORTUNITY LOL: “Opportunity LOL has a solution to your next long car drive, purchase AudioComics’ Starstruckon CD…”
RUDY PANUCCI (PopCult, Charleston Gazette): “The Starstruck Audiocomic is considerably more evolved than a traditional radio drama. At times I was reminded of the radio incarnation of Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and at other times the frenetic pace and dense action reminded me of The Firesign Theater. Jokes fly by so fast that repeated listenings will be warranted. The Starstruck Audiocomic is a real kick. It’s also the healthiest way to read comics while driving. I’m really looking forward to whatever Audiocomics decides to do next.”
EVAN WATERS, CLUB PARNASSUS: “Starstruck’s translation to the aural medium is superbly done. It’s a lush and charming sci-fi comedy which has a lot on its plate but somehow manages to avoid a spill into incoherence…and I do want to say, if there’s a stage play out there featuring the wild and ribald adventures of four female space rangers, why is this not performed as often as The Sound of Music? This is just what you need to get people going to the theatre again.”
THE LOTTERY PARTY: “Noted cartoonist Scott McCloud once wrote about the gutter spaces between comic book panels inviting the reader to fill in the blanks, so to speak, and this “audio movie” absolutely possesses that exact same pull. In defense of audio dramas, having heard this work I just don’t think even a live-action film version could do as much justice to the imagination eased out from the mind by this brilliance.
“Art in its highest aesthetic value challenges us and provokes us, to whatever degree and in whatever capacity. I sincerely believe that, contrary to the tenets of a capitalism-enthused creative industry, not every story can so readily cross mediums from one to another, as all have their own particular strengths and weaknesses which can too easily be flustered in the translation syntax. Comic books as trial screenplays or novels adapting movies, or whatever the trend this minute, all deny the intent of the creation’s original form as well as disrespecting the mediums themselves, with variations almost universally watering down the message.
“But that’s not at all the case here. While mediums can never really literally be interchangeable, Starstruck boldly shows that different mediums can in fact play into each others’ strengths and weaknesses, expanding upon each other and uniting together to tell an even richer ideal than any one might do on its own. Such a grandiose feat requires truly artisan conception and direction and presentation, and such an accomplishment is most certainly delivered by these fine folks in this recording. Verily – honor to the mind that replicates their pattern.”
AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE: Listeners should be warned that Starstruck is a swashbuckling feminist joyride, a comedic space opera that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Firesign Theater will love this crazy audiobook…the full cast of more than two dozen actors is to be commended for this performance about a group of spacewomen who are trying to stop a nasty female pirate from committing a nefarious deed. Listeners who go along for the ride won’t be disappointed as long as they know what to expect: a raucous comedy that breaks all the rules. M.S. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2010]
SUSAN DUNMAN, READING AT THE SPEED OF SOUND (www.tor.com): “The podcast offers clips from the audio drama, as well as a discussion from some of the performers sharing their thoughts about the production. Be sure and give a listen!
JM DeMATTEIS (comics legend, Justice League, Spider-Man, Moonshadow, Imaginalis, The Life and Times of Savior 28) “Open your ears, uncork your imagination and blast off on a mind-expanding intergalactic audio adventure.”
TOM LOPEZ (ZBS Foundation): “Funny and sophisticated…you can tell they sure had a lot of fun doing this.”
FRED GREENHALGH/RADIO DRAMA REVIVAL! on WMPG FM: Hear the Starstruck special on Radio Drama Revival!, featuring selected scenes and interviews with a very tired Lance Roger Axt and Elaine Lee! “A great example of taking work from another medium and making it audio drama… I highly support it!” – Fred Greenhalgh.
CHRONOGRAM MAGAZINE “The cast of AudioComics’ radio play version has a blast chewing intergalactic scenery in Firesign Theatre mode.”
TYM STEVENS, RockSex: “Many have heard of the Starstruck play but few have seen it. The series is most known by its comic stories, which are all actually prequels to the play. The AudioComics Company remedies this with their timely new adaptation of the play as an audio play. This finally brings the play, and the dimension of sound, to the general public. Now fans used to the visual side of Starstruck – from Kaluta’s art, Moyer’s color, or Sean Smith’s stage photos – can finally hear the stage personalities, sound effects, and Dwight Dixon’s original score.
“The audio play captures all the lunacy of the original play as it rebounds through Sci-Fi chestnuts through a chandelier. What’s it like? Imagine the city-smart sass of Princess Leia in Star Wars, and with most of those male parts played by women. The play is Sci-Fi through the funhouse mirror of Firesign Theatre or Douglas Adams: ramped-up, some crazed vamp, a little camp. I say, buy it now, buy it often!”
JON WITMER, THE DANGER DIGEST: “Bringing the stage play into audio form was without question the right way to go. For one thing, I’m always suspicious of adapting brilliant comics into other media. More importantly, though, the stage play’s story was appropriately contained for a, well, play. But don’t let that fool you – if there’s an aural equivalent to the comics’ dense visuals, this is most certainly it. Just as the comics’ layers of detail reward multiple reads, so too does the audio play reward multiple listens. Indeed, it’s impressive to hear how the storytelling devices used in the comics are translated to the radio play form. A rich use of sound effects creates a detailed, variegated aural landscape complemented by Dwight Dixon’s pitch-perfect score.
“And where each issue of the comic would incorporate ‘excerpts’ from ‘historical’ accounts like Musing on the Events Leading Up to the Great Change and Ordering Anarchera in order to provide readers with pertinent bits of backstory and effectively flesh out what feels like a very real and lived-in multiverse, in the audio play, an omniscient narrator (voiced by Simon Vance) occasionally speaks up to season the narrative with similar background information.
“For anyone unfamiliar with Starstruck, I recommend you get acquainted first with the comics. But then, just as fast as you can, treat yourself to the radio play, and allow the sounds to flood your mind’s eye with visions of Kaluta’s art, Moyer’s colors and Lee’s indelible characters. It’s loud, it’s raucous, it’s baffling, sexy, hilarious and so much more – in short, it’s Starstruck. And it’s not to be missed.”
WEREGEEK, THE DISCRIMINATING FANGIRL: “Who would think that the fate of the galaxy would hinge on a load of phone books hiding a cache of secret information? The juxtaposition of the mundane and laughably ludicrous reminds me very much of Douglas Adams. And there’s plenty for the reference spotter to enjoy. I only started writing them down in Act 2, but I caught nods to and parodies of Star Trek, Doctor Who, Christopher Walken, Woody Allen, Walter Cronkite and The Wizard of Oz, just to name a few…I’d recommend Starstruck the audio comic to anyone who’s a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, pulp sci-fi, or just general goofy space operas.”