Heroes & Villains: Winston Gambro’s “Overflow” and Henson’s Halloween Hangover

This morning I woke up with a song in my head. It’s not an uncommon experience for me but my brain had decided to go with, what I perceive to be, a deep David Bowie cut which I deemed odd. That’s not to say that I don’t consider myself to be a Bowie fan, I do. In point of fact I’ll bring him up just so I can mention that I saw him on his last full tour of the States. I tend to stick to the shallow waters of the greatest hits collections but also have special places in my heart reserved for Outside and Blackstar, but Station to Station is hard for me to get into.

I don’t think I’m overselling it when I write that the brain is weird. The human brain in general, that is…not just mine. As I was getting ready to log on to work this morning I was trying to unpack the deeper meaning behind why my brain had decided to call up a song I’ve barely ever listened to and drop it in the forefront of my consciousness. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Other times it’s a Thin White Duke.

Who can I be now? Hopefully, the guy that writes about comics today because that’s what I’m supposed to be doing here.

Winston Gambro (W/A)

A couple of months ago I put word out on Twitter that I was looking for comics to write about. I get sent stuff from publishers on a regular basis but I have a soft spot for the creators who are out there on the grind, self-publishing, and otherwise making it happen. Very few people produce art with the intention of not sharing it with the general public and it’s a tremendous endeavour to create something. If I can in some small way help some creators reach a wider audience then I’m all for using my platform to amplify those voices.

Here’s the blurb on Overflow:

Overflow is Mr.Robot meets Parasite, an exploration of hacking and class divide and all tied together by a mystery.

Ava Lee, a former cop turned private investigator is forced to prove her brother’s innocence after his military vehicle fires upon a friendly Russian unit, igniting mutually assured destruction.

In the investigation, she finds a group of hackers that attempted to change the world through hacking, fraud and murder. Her life is put at risk as she attempts to expose the truth, all while questioning if this apathy filled world is even worth saving.

One of the first things that struck me about the story in Overflow was that dystopian fiction in recent years only requires a few tweaks to our current society and a couple extremely small jumps in speculation to make for a full-blown and totally believable future. Reading Overflow had me muttering to myself, “Yeah, that could be like five years from now…”

Overflow had a completely engrossing story, art that was very much in line with the book’s cyberpunk tone, and and ending that was a fantastic rug-pull.

Overflow can be purchased at https://gumroad.com/winstongambro or read for free at Overflowcomic.com.

Halloween Hangover

Figurative, not literal.

You know, if not for BBP’s 31 Days of Horror I don’t know how in I would have been to the season this year. It’s a favourite holiday and one to which I can partially jokingly say I owe my existence to, but if it weren’t for my pseudo job here and having the “obligation” to write about Halloween stuff, I don’t know how much time I would have found for it.

Writing this column is also an excuse for me to further delay taking down my Halloween decorations. I went to the trouble of digging them out of my basement a month ago so they should be on display as long as possible. I shan’t be decorating for Christmas so this is my new sideboard table’s time to shine.

This year my “white whale” of decorations was replacing my light-up Jack-o-Lantern that I apparently through in a dumpster last year in a fit of mania brought on by the stress of moving. It was insanely difficult to find a “traditional” scary face light-up pumpkin this year, I don’t know if they just weren’t in vogue or if I should blame the now omnipresent “supply chain issues.” Everywhere I went in my area seemed to be a little anemic when it came to decorations.

As fate would have it, I stopped at a local supermarket on Devil’s Night and was able to secure a plastic pumpkin that was roughly in the ballpark of what I was after. Even better…it was already on clearance. I also picked up an orange lightbulb for my porch light to add to the general vibe and I have resolved that next year I will have lawn decorations AND a smoke machine.

Sadly, my enthusiasm for the day wasn’t quite matched by my neighbours. Very few houses on my street were participating and I ended up with even less trick or treaters then I had anticipated. Still, I was able to provide validation to a kid who dressed up as Coraline by correctly identifying their costume. Apparently, most people thought they were dressed up as Georgie from It. So, net win altogether.

Around 8 pm it started to rain so I opted to call it an evening and retreat inside to watch Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark while enjoying some apple cider purchased from a local cider mill…and maybe a few seasonally appropriate porters after that.

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