Shpilkes Volume 3 #1
The great thing about reading more than one issue by any given creator is that it gives me the chance to base my opinion on more than one thing. Should go without saying, sure, but I sometimes give bad reviews that are purely based on what I think the person is likely to do in their comics career, and it’s silly to base that on one issue, but I’m rambling here. My point is that I liked this issue. The contents here are pretty diverse, but it all works. There’s an asshole at a coffee shop, a stupid man trying to describe a long-term relationship, and some really tasteless (so, naturally, pretty funny) jokes here and there. But the bulk of this book, and the best thing about it, is the convoluted epic about Otto VonHoule, a possibly retarded descendent of royalty. It’s set in the hickest of hick towns and involves licking feet, intolerance, a skank and an angry mob. I never had a problem with Fredo’s art and it’s never looked better than is does here. He gets a bit lazy with the backgrounds here and there (as in there are is no background here and there), but that’s a very minor complaint in what was a pretty damned good comic. Check out his website or send him an e-mail. Maybe he can tell you why this is another #1 instead of a #2…
I don’t see a number anywhere, but it’s the size of a real comic thanks to the Xeric Foundation, so let’s just call it #1, OK? If I see anything different I’ll change it. Random buy, and I had really mediocre expectations for this. What can I say, they were met. This was going to be a much more negative review before I went to his website though. There are a few pages there that are pretty funny. Not that the book is bad necessarily, just kind of dull. Stagger Lee didn’t do much for me (comics about songs rarely do, even folk songs), Cracked Actor (about a washed up child actor) was a little better, but I still wouldn’t buy the book for it. King Curmudgeon was downright good though, so the book is saved! Sort of. It’s the story of a grump out with some of his trendy friends, and he decides to mess with the head of one girl who can’t stop smiling and staring at him, no matter what’s said. Funny stuff, but short. The wordless story at the end (Automaton) was OK too. Overall, this is probably something that you can live without. I like his art a lot though and he seems to be going in the right direction, so I’ll buy whatever comes out next. Until then, read the comics on his page and see what you think for yourself.
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