Anthologies are notoriously hard to pull off, especially if there's no overriding subject or theme. But with Periphery, publisher/writer/artist Omaha Perez has put togther a winner. Ranging from horror to humor to mythology, over the course of two issues the stories in these two 48-page anthologies never fail to entertain.
Prerz provides the art on about half of the entries; other creators involved are Steve Niles, Brian Horton, Mark Fearing, Eli S. Stone, Richard Raleigh, and Matthew Smith.
Niles is best known for his supernatural horror work for IDW & Dark Horse, but his story in issue #1, "Carsickness," drawn ably by Brian Horton, is a thrilling Tarantino-esque story about a convenience store robbery that goes in unexpected directions, with nary a vampire or werewolf in sight. Issue #1 also includes "The Handsomest Man in the World," A tongue-in-cheek spoof by Stone & Perez; "Closed Case," a two-page solo effort by Horton about a police interrogation with a shock twist ending; "In Deep," by Niles & Perez, about two guys who really can't stand each other who get stranded in outter space; and "The Story of Ganesha" by Raleigh & Perez, which I believe is a retelling of a Hindu myth and is probably the best story of the lot.
Both issues include a "Jerry: Caveman Inventor" story by Mark Fearing; both are quite funny with a wry sense of humor that builds to the end.
Iuees #2 also includes "The Novice" by Matthew Smith & Brian Horton, a mostly-silent tale about an unusual encounter between two warriors in the desert; and "Holmes," a solo effort by Perez (and featured as a flip-book), which reimagines Sherlock Holmes as a drugged-out maniac and Dr. Watson as his supplier-enabler. Of all the stories over the two issues, it is this last that didn't quite work for me, although that may be because I'm not much of a Sherlock Holmes fan so perhaps some of the jokes were lost on me.
Overall though this is a quality anthology, providing plenty of entertainment for your comic dollar, and shows that there's still plenty of life in the comic-sized anthology.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
(Review copies were provided by the publisher. A copy of Cenozoic #1 was also sent, although I reviewed that previously.)