Filed under: Image Comics | Tags: edwinhuang, image, jimzubkavich, mistycoats, skullkickers
Does Absence makes the heart grow fonder? In the case of Image’s ever excellent Skullkickers it most certainly does. My poor wee Scottish heart has been positively yearning for this quick witted axe bashing floppy. After an extended break for the creative team it’s back with a bang and even better than I remember.
Issue #13 is the first issue in the beginning of the third story arc and is a great jumping on point for those of you who are yet to experience the innocent delight of the big bald guy with a gun and the wee ginger dwarf with a HUGE axe. Sure there is the odd recurring character, but there is sufficient explanation to ensure you won’t be lost at sea, whilst keeping regular Skullkickers free from too much margin ballast.
Another brilliantly illustrative cover hopes to draw in the comic rack browsers and contains all the major food groups required for a balanced, healthy comic book; two different kinds of booty, weapons, rum, aged treasure maps, weapons, feathered hats, a duo both intrepid and inept and er… more weapons. Imagine One Piece crossed with Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves and you’re half way there.
Part one of ‘Six Shooter on the Seven Seas’ begins with an amusing recap which I enjoyed, mostly due to the time that had lapsed since I read issue #12. Catching up with our heroes is as comfortable as your first pair of Converse, despite them being found in the most awkward of predicaments. I’ve forgotten the real names of ‘Ginger’ and ‘Baldy’ but I don’t feel I love or know them any less. The odds are stacked against them from the beginning but however the story might turn out it unfolds in a timely and stylish fashion.
Zubkavich has a great gift of making storylines appear incredibly simple, all the while weaving bits and bobs of subplot and intrigue into the background. There is nothing obviously grand about Skullkickers, except maybe Wee Gingers appetite for rank stew. Instead, it’s an unpretentious comic with fun at its heart which sets out to do nothing more than make readers laugh, all the while treating them to some of the best comic goodies available. With two story arc’s behind us the developing world of the Skullkickers is coming into focus and reminds me of Cerebus’ early adventures.
If you haven’t already guessed from the cover, my earlier mini preview and poorly executed sea faring puns, our heroes adventuring beyond Urbia and the immediate locale, find themselves out upon the ocean waves as stowaways aboard a pirate vessel staffed entirely of women. There’s some great situation comedy aboard, better aquatic puns and a few great fights. The comedic sound effects are a complete blast and compliment the ever excellent art wonderfully. New characters are introduced and they are found to be interesting and liven things up well. There is also the bonus of a recurring Carothers reappearance that I shan’t spoil. Suffice to say readers of the latest arc will be intrigued.
Edwin Huang and Misty Coats do a sterling job on this, as they have done on each issue of Skullkickers. Their bright, innocent cartoon style plays off Zubkavich’s humour to great aplomb. Each panel is in on the joke, and at times even slams home the punch line.
Regular readers will be used to recipes, games and puzzles in the back of their comic. This month the Skullkickers crew have offered a real treat to aspiring writers and artists and fans of the book. They are running a competition to write and draw a short story as part of their popular Tavern Tales issues, used as breathers in between story arcs where guest creators get to show off individual takes on the duo.
Issue #13 is out soon, don’t forget to preorder it. Likewise the hard cover Treasure Trove edition out on the same day. You’ll get 10% off these and other comics if you buy from Red Hot Comics in Glasgow and quote Comics Anonymous.
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