Saturday, September 25, 2010

Skullkickers #1

Written by Jim Zubkavich
Art by Chris Stevens and Edwin Huang

As I'm sure you're aware, this title has received a ton of positive press in the last two weeks, and has had Bleeding Cool reporting that copies were selling for five times cover price on Ebay the day before the book even hit the stands.  There seems to be a huge speculative interest in new creator-owned Image books of late (Chew being the gold standard, but books like Morning Glories are good examples).  I don't understand this type of thinking, but I like that it is helping 'the little guys' get some readers.

I'd already decided to buy this comic before all the media storm started, because the manager at my comic store is friends with Zubkavich, and the store was doing a lot to promote the book.  I missed the launch party, but when I picked up my books this week, Zubkavich was standing their signing them.  I'm always willing to pick up a new comic if it supports local creators, and I've learned to trust the Beguiling's staff and their recommendations.

It's not the type of comic I would have picked up otherwise.  It has a little too much of a 'classic Image' look for me, and the first couple of pages did nothing for me.  But then, I slowly found myself being drawn more and more into the story, and by the time I finished reading it, I was pretty sure I'd pick up issue 2.

Skull Kickers is about a pair of mercenaries.  One is a large bald human, who seems very strong and packs a chunky pistol.  The other is a red-bearded dwarf, who seems a little touchy.  Together, they've been killing werewolves in some medieval-looking town, and the local lieutenant refuses to pay them.  Their negotiations become interrupted when a young chancellor arrives in town, only to be promptly assassinated.  Our as-yet nameless heroes go after the killer, but fail.  Later, they are hired to steal his body.

The art is split between Stevens and Huang, and I found that I liked Huang's pages better.  The style reminds me of Udon Studios's work, which make sense as Zubkavich has done work for them.  This is a fun comic, and is worth a look.

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