I recently decided to get caught up on Skullkickers, and so tracked all twelve issues on eBay. Having now read them, I was sufficiently impressed to come up with five reasons why everyone should go and read it too.
If you’re wondering, Skullkickers is a comic-book about two adventurers. It’s set in a fantasy setting and it is filled to the brim with comedy. The premise is not overly complicated, the two adventurers (a dwarf and human as you might cleverly ascertain for the adjacent image) are mercenaries and in their quest for greater rewards they inevitably get caught in all kinds of trouble. Pretty straightforward you might think, sounds like any other fantasy story in fact. Except you would be wrong to think so. There is much to say for the cleverness and sheer comedy that Jim Zubakavich manages to pack in.
It’s true it has not always been the most timely comic-book, but #13 is coming out on April 4th, so without further ado, time for some examples, five to be precise!
1. Lateral Thinking Equals Greater Comedy
First of all, who has ever heard of a fat werewolf? Seriously, this is the kind of detail that makes this comic-book both original and funny. It manages to twist familiar events into something both amusing and interesting, in this case mostly amusing, but you get the idea.
Second of all, and this is where the lateral thinking comes into play. As we all know werewolves don’t take kindly to silver, and well sometimes silver isn’t easy to come by, which leads us to the following panel.
2. The Dwarf is Not to be Trifled With
It’s like math, angry dwarfs are amusing. There’s just something innately funny about short, stocky fellas being all angry and ferocious.
3. Clever Captions
Captions are used to enhance hilarity, and otherwise communicate nuance. Why settle for standard captions, when you can use them to communicate motion, emotion and other details that enhance the storytelling?
The panel above shows how the addition of the captions transform an otherwise nondescript scene into an amusing one, because it adds tone. The meaning is there in the art, but the captions nudge our understanding in just the right direction and make everything click perfectly. There are many other examples, and they all work to make this story just a little bit better.
4. Mob Reactions are Hilarious
This is another way of saying that attention to detail is awesome, and that’s something that is definitely present in this comic-book. One example of it, is that each time there is a mob present the opportunity is used to its fullest to shows us its hilarious reactions. Just look…
Yeah, some of those are actually kind of depressing, but when coupled with the nonchalant heroes heading the other way it leads to great humor. Also, the overreactions sprinkled in there, like “the humanity” or “all is lost,” are amusing in their own right. Finally, there’s just something funny about a guy yelling “my leg’s on fire,” especially when you figure he’s probably nowhere near the fire. Anyway…
5. Evil Leg!
Ever wonder what would happen if a possession ritual was botched, and all that would be possessed is a leg? Well Jim Zub has had this thought, and decided to fully explore it.
Yep, and it only gets better. I simply cannot describe it all without ruining some of the jokes (I’m just not that funny). So, I can only encourage everyone to go out and read it for themselves!