Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Achewood Vol. 1: The Great Outdoor Fight

by Chris Onstad

I don't really like reading on-line comics, and I tend to avoid the 'funny animal' genre, but last Christmas Chris Butcher waged a guerrilla marketing campaign by posting links to the best Christmas-themed Achewood strips on his website, and I started to really like Onstad's work. 

This book tells the story of The Great Outdoor Fight, an annual competition where some 3000 men get into a giant arena and pound on each other until there's only one left.  On the second day, the two people with the largest followings get to have turkey and bourbon.

Ray, one of the main characters in the series, discovers that his father was the winner of the 1973 fight, and decides to enter the competition.  His friend Roast Beef enters as well.  The two plot and scheme their way to the top, and much hilarity ensues.

Onstad's art is very simple, but is effective here.  He pads the book with historical reference on the fight, including its history, biographies of past winners, and a helpful glossary of fight-specific vocabulary.  One of the best things about this book are the old posters that fill the inside covers.

Achewood is highly recommended.

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