Shorty and Baldy are the Skullkickers. Shorty is a foulmouthed, short-tempered, ax wielder, red-headed dwarf. Baldy is a calm(er), hulking like, pistol shooting, bald man. Together they steal, kill, maim, protect and any other job that will get them paid.
How is it?
At first this seemed like a generic fantasy book. A dwarf and a big man go around doing whatever they can to get money, but it doesn't take long for the identity of Skullkickers to gain form and substance.
I loved the way the book doesn't take itself too seriously and embraces some of the usual cliches of fantasy storytelling and twists them around in unexpected ways. Small details like the Baldy, a big strong man, being the brains of the operation and using a small and underwhelming looking pistol, fat werewolves, their generally unheroic behavior, among many others, made this book a very entertaining read.
|Shorty and Baldy jump into action|
The art style fits the mood of the book like a glove. Chris Evens and Edwin Huang do a great job bringing Jim Zub's plot to life. The character designs are very good. Shorty, while great to look at, is not that original. He basically looks like Gimli from Lord of the Rings but in different armor. Baldy is a different story. He might have a simpler and more streamlined look, but it works very well. The panel dynamics is great and so is the coloring with its bright colors and distinct pallets for the different settings in the story.
I came into this book with relatively low expectations and got blown away by how much I enjoyed it. At first its only an ok book, but soon it finds it voice and becomes a very fun and entertaining read.
If you like fantasy stories, with dwarfs, elves, sorcery, taverns fights and alike then you definitely should read this book. Even if you're not big on fantasy but just want to read a good and entertaining comic book, then give it a try.
Publisher: Image Comics
Authors: Jim Zub, Edwin Huang, Chris Stevens
Follow Reading Graphic Novels on Facebook and Twitter.