SkullKickers issue #8 Written by Jim Zub, Line Art by Edwin Huang, Colors by Misty Coats & Mike Luckas, Letters by Marshall Dillon and Published by Image Comics. Retail price $2.99.
Review by Shaun Daniels and Edited by Sharon Wong
Skull Kickers is a book you should be reading. Why you might ask? Very simple…it has asskickery, laughs and, dammit, good old-fashioned comic fun. Issue #7 was a great jumping on point and the whole Horror Haven staff took the leap, so if you haven’t, here is your chance with issue #8. Don’t worry about being lost because you’ll be up to speed in no time and any overarching plots will be clear enough to follow along. Now go to your local comic shop or wherever you can buy comics, and pick up Skull Kickers issue #8 and let the skull kicking commence.
When we last saw our favorite skull kicking mercenary duo, they were set up to take the fall for the assassination of noblemen at a dinner party…the search for our favorite mercenaries begins now. The noblemen’s bumbling guards are hot on the heels of the of Baldy and Shorty but all is not lost since the duo have a plan, a really good plan. Part 1 (of the plan): Find a place to hide until nightfall; if it weren’t for the Monty Python-esque guards, the hiding spot would be pretty bad. Part 2: Hide until nightfall. Nuff said. Part 2.5: Get food. Sounds pretty solid. Part 3: Spy on the Inn; it shows the bumbling nature of the guards and the overall humor of this issue. At the Inn, the guards use a battering ram to open Baldy and Shorty’s room instead of getting a key for the simple reason that “duh this is more fun.” After a brief search of the room, Baldy’s pistol is discovered and a great scene occurs that includes a small body count. The guards end up being holed up all night in the room in fear of Baldy’s Gun, aka the “Cursed Hammer.” Part 4: Find the seedy part of town; this leads to Part 5. Part 5: Question local lowlifes; of course, this is done in the delicate and subtle manner that the duo are known for. The questions they ask are answered by the colorful people of that part of town and it brings them to the local thieving guild. (Finally) Part 6: Get info; the plan ends with a fight against a massive beast to save the lives of the duo.
Jim Zub balances comedy, action and fantasy while not leaning too heavily on the genres. The man has mastered the art of laugh out loud funny, a feat very difficult in comics especially the multi-level scene with Baldy’s gun. The humor, which is clear in the buffoonery and deaths of two of the guards, is the first level. The second is in the writing; the guards have never seen a gun before and act accordingly by holding it awkwardly, referring to it as a hammer or musical instrument. This example is a microcosm of the well-layered writing Zub is doing on this book.
Edwin Huang, Misty Coats and Mike Luck make up the art team with both line art and colors. The art really is a team effort and it’s this combo that makes this book work so well. Each and every character is drawn in different ways, some more cartoonish than others, while certain characters are drawn differently, from panel to panel, to express different emotion like in the case of Shorty after discovering a person thought to be dead, is no longer dead.
OK, so we’ve told you to pick up this book. Now go. Leave your computer or put away your smart device and BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!!