Binge-worthy Backlist Bonanza: The extended John Allison library

Looking for something to read while stuck at home? The Smash Pages crew offers some helpful suggestions, starting with the many selections available from the John Allison universe.

In the current climate, many industries are in a standstill as people isolate and wait out the coronavirus. The comics industry is no different, as Diamond Comic Distributors shut down, leaving comic shops without a supply of new weekly comics.

With that in mind, we’re introducing a new feature, Backlist Bonzana. While new comics might not be arriving for a while, your local retailer, favorite online site, digital comics provider or even favorite creator can still supply older comics that you might not have read yet. Today Tom Bondurant shares the joy that comes from reading John Allison’s comics. Watch for more from the Smash Pages crew over the next few days and weeks.

Because John Allison’s Scary Go Round universe spans 20-plus years and a few different webcomics series, I feel pretty secure in describing it as “sprawling.” The main portal at www.scarygoround.com is organized helpfully by comic, with links to print versions where available.

While all of the series are interconnected, the characters tend to stay in their own milieux. Bobbins and Scary Go Round feature young professionals in London, and Bad Machinery has a cast of adolescent amateur detectives. They are all showcases for Allison’s dry humor and slyly engaging art, and should make sheltering at home a lot more bearable. The side projects are fun too: Murder She Writes is a standalone whodunit (or “who has done this?”); That portrays a monster attack during a trip to America; and Mordawwa has a character become the Queen of Hell. All involve Bobbins and/or Bad Machinery folks. Bad Machinery is also part of Gocomics.com, a newspaper-comics subscription service.

Allison is also producing two current series, Wicked Things (with Giant Days artist Max Sarin) and Steeple. The former checks in with Bad Machinery‘s Charlotte Grote, now in her late teens. The latter, a relationship comedy involving a priest and a Satanist, started out as a Dark Horse miniseries and now continues with an online sequel.

Of course, Allison’s mega-popular Giant Days is all on Comixology, with the first eight collections on Comixology Unlimited.

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