Hello all, I’ve finally found some time to catch up on my posts. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back on track with posting so that I won’t disappear again. That said, I’d like to start the New Year on this blog (I know it’s a little late, but too bad) with another comic review. It’s a new(ish) series, only four issues are currently out (maybe five by the time this goes up but I’m not sure since I can’t get to my comic shop as often as I’d like. There’s only so much money you know), and though I would have liked to review it earlier, I just couldn’t get a good enough perspective on it to do so (unlike Morning Glories which I loved from the start). It’s called Skullkickers, and it’s a bucket of hard-hitting fun created and written by Jim Zubkavich.
First off, this is one of those series where you need to have an interest in fantasy, particularly that of the role-playing game persuasion. The main characters are a large bald human (referred to as “Baldy” because the creators didn’t want to name the characters just yet), and a dwarf (he would be “Shorty”). In the “Call & Response” in #2, they say it was an intentional choice because people who are familiar with each other don’t use their names in casual conversation; they also said that their names would pop up when we least expect it. This same section also resulted in the village at the beginning on #1 being named “Mudwich” and in the confirmation that the vampires do not, in fact, sparkle (and thank God for that).
You probably figured out from that last paragraph that there is a lot of humor in this series, and you’d be right. There are some ridiculous captions, some for “dialogue” such as “Body Language Translator,” “Facial Expression Translator,” and “Translated from mashed face chatter.” There are also some that go where sound-effects usually do, such as “Sneak, Sneak” for sneaking up on oblivious guards, and “Imminent Violence” before said guards have their skulls smacked together. Also one notable instance includes the “sound effect” caption “Ass-kick!” This series had me laughing out loud more than once in every issue. Baldy and Shorty do such ridiculous things, and on top of that the comic itself is presented in such a way that you just can’t help but laugh.
The story thus far is interesting, and feels original, though its actually quite derivative of typical RPG plots (corpse is stolen and an evil necromancer is trying to make an army of the undead? I think I’ve played this quest…), but even so, it doesn’t drag on. According to the “preview” as it were of #5, the next issue (#5, that is) will end the first story arc in the series. And good news for 8-Bit Theater fans (I haven’t reviewed that? *scribbles a list*), it seems, according a blog I came across called “Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog” that Brian Clevinger, creator of 8-Bit Theater, will have a hand in writing #6, billed in Previews, the industry standard monthly comic catalogue, as a “short story.” I’m assuming that #7 will start the next story arc in the series. At any rate, my point here is that there’s no reason for you to lose interest in this series.
So overall report? I highly recommend it. It’s not the best series out there, but it’s pretty damn good, and one of the best fantasy comics I’ve ever read. Maybe the best. I haven’t decided yet. Maybe my upcoming review of the new Dungeons and Dragons comic will help me decide. At any rate, if you’re into fantasy and/or laughing, start reading Skullkickers. You won’t regret it. Unless you stop reading, because you’ll probably get your skull kicked in. HARHARHAR.
Skullkickers website: http://www.skullkickers.com/
Interesting article and interview: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/creator-commentary-skullkickers-100923.html
Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog: http://www.the-isb.com/?p=5262