Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Next 100: John Aston and the grindhouse experience of Rachel Rage!

For those of you who are joining us for the weekend edition of Planet Griffin, we welcome you one an all to the continuation of the Next 100--- to the next wave of indie creators whose visions innovate and makes you wonder where your mind can go! Today's entry is definitely different... And it's definitely dedicated to all my grindhouse goodfellas.

Anyone who's followed Planet Griffin since the beginning knows my love affair for the old-school grindhouse daze of the 70's ( 42nd Street Forever, people!) and the ever deepening role it plays on the pop culture medium ( Example: Anybody catch the double feature commercials ads for Terminator/Dollhouse on FOX lately?). I said a year ago that the lo-fi, grindhouse stylings would catch on in the comics medium and I'm happy to see the interesting fruits it's bearing! Hard times can be a mother, but it's blessing in disguise can always be found in the mother of invention. John Aston out of South Carolina figured that out--- and the proof of that can be found in his ongoing webcomic, RACHEL RAGE!

Born out of his love for 70's cult actress Pam Grier ( Undisputed Queen of the Blaxploitation era, don'tcha know!), John created OldeTowneComix.Com as the platform to which he produces his one-man show of the continuing exploits of '...a tough southern pecan who struggles to survive in a nightmarish American Gothic... ESPECIALLY upon learning that her real father is a corrupt lawman controlling all the nightmares she's experienced... And then the bloody fun begins...' The series is a 3 act crime tale, currently in Act 2 and standing tall at a whopping 241 full color images!

The real magic to this webcomic lies in its presentation. The onsite
viewer is set up to view like a movie screen with each panel of the comic designed like a still frame of an old Z-grade film print from 1975 , complete with the grainy scratches and the whole nine. ( Try imaging Bendis' POWERS in a theatre slide show and you begin to get the idea.) The look and feel is immersive once you begin reading the 'film', and those old school memories of sticky floors, bad seating, and audience members yelling at the screen come flooding back--- and in this medium, that's the real goal of any story: to pull you in and hold your attention... That fact alone makes this site shine.

John Aston is currently looking at print options for Rachel, anxiously looking forward to supplying the demands of his ever- growing audience. ( Believe me, folks, his site presentation is definitely attracting attention!) I seriously applaud John's efforts in completing the Rachel Rage saga in its entirety. Check it out for yourselves at and tell'em the infamous RodBuddah sent you!

We here at Planet Griffin support John Aston's endeavor and welcome him as a member of the Next 100!


Jester Press said...

I agree with everything in your review! John is a genius!!

RodBuddah said...

I think so!
He really nailed the experience, so I champion him for it!

ghettoManga said...

yeah, i'm waiting feverishly for that new Rage joint!
i'm a big fan!

Jester Press said...

I've helped proof the graphic novel and it's going to kick so much ass!