Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Dan Harris, HdE, Jim Bampfield, Kris Carter, Lou Scannon
Issue #5 of the so far impressive Lou Scannon arrived on my doorstep a few weeks back and somehow it seemed to slip through my “next-to-read” pile as I drowned in an influx of new issues. Wall-to-wall “must-reads” could stand in the way no longer as the intrigue of the creative teams Facebook comments “It’s very different” aimed in my direction had me wary of what to expect.
If you’re reading this title already you’ll know of its uncanny comparison with Red Dwarf and while it’s also a Sci-Fi/Comedy mash-up those previous issues were sure to set the stage up for a different, but just as funny epic. Where issue #1 & #2 would crack open the comedy centre of my brain, issue #3 would spray some whipped cream in there, just in time for that issue #4 to lick it all off – things slowed down in this recent release……or at least that’s how it felt the first time I read it as the forewarning of it being “very different” had dulled my wits to what this issue would represent.
True it’s got a completely different pacing to those previous four issues but the heart of Lou is still there as a tale of a down-trodden accountant/auditor, Erishew, sees his boss reading the riot-act directly at him forcing his hand in a mad go-for-broke race to meet a deadline. This, of course, back-fires and he ends up spaceship-wrecked on a derelict planet with nothing but his shirt and tie for company. A Lou business card is the trigger for our stranded auditor’s bucket-full of crazy pouring out into the visions he starts seeing. A deity/obi-wan figure that takes the form of our usual hero Lou – a situation made all the worse when the Lou Scannon crew arrive to check/loot the uninhabited planet. To their surprise the “natives” i.e. Erishew have a more than friendly approach to Lou the God coming to save the day….now from here it fades out into a Lou saves the lunatic affair and the next audit case to hit Erishew’s desk is none other than Lou “The auditors dream” Scannon…….the circle is complete but with a comedy vibe in this instance.
This issue firmly sets Lou apart from a great number of releases out there now – they’re able to stick to their core crew for the laughs but they can break from that formula with just as much of an impact on me the reader. While I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, there’s no denying that the same heart is there, the same smart approach to comedy – be that sight gags, those slagging-of-your-mates gags or those insane moments that make you consider reporting these people to the authorities.
The difference with issue #5 though, is that there now seems like much more of a surprise element to where they will take the story and I think the team have given the right change of pace at the right time. Keeping things the same would’ve been easy and I know these guys bust a gut to get it finished – knowing that and reading the issue, there’s no feeling of “get-the-damn-issue-out” or any hint of an element that was shoe-horned in there. The laugh-count is still there but the change of pace lets that subtle hint of humour almost slip by and the fact that you pick up on these makes you feel that you’re the only the one that spotted them.
Kudos to Dan Harris, Kris Carter, Jim Bampfield and new mystery collaborator HdE from issue #5 onwards. You’ll laugh and get to know the characters in issues #1-4 but it’s the ability to surprise and breakaway from their usual approach, like they’ve done in issue #5, that’ll keep you coming back for more space-themed comedy shenanigans. Even better is that you can preorder #6 now too and wait by your door until it arrives…..just like me.
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