Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lusty Tales Number One

By B. Elston

From the cover of this I really had no idea what to expect. A sort of Black Pete looking character spitting up...something under the title "Lusty Tales"? Was this going to be furry porn?

Thankfully no! (Though I have caught the Wikipedia disease, and just had to drag myself away from reading about Goof Troop and other Disney cartoons after I went looking for the name of Black Pete.) Instead, this is a comic featuring anthropomorphic animals living in an "old west" style world. There are miners, people wearing cowboy hats, claim jumpers, and other stuff that would fit fine into a Mickey Mouse comic. Well, apart from some of the characters getting shot, the nudity, and so forth.

The characters and style are very reminescent of old funny animals comics and cartoons: hearts appear above the head to indicate a character is in love, the steam from a kettle acts as a thought bubble for a character, and there's a fair amount of slapstick style violence. This just causes the deaths that occur to seem more out of place. When you've seen talking skeletons, and characters being hit on the head with rocks and pouring scalding hot coffee on themselves to no apparent harm, it's hard to take the guns they're firing seriously. Especially when they're firing them from handstands.

Yet, this could all work, the art is nice to look at, and I have no problem with creating a dissonence between the expected and the actual. However the story itself is a bit of a disappointment. It starts strongly (down on their luck guys wondering what to do with their lives), but ends up meandering after the apparent climax, only to end on a cliffhanger of a sort. It could pull itself together when (if?) there are further chapters, but I did go in expecting this to be a complete story (I only discovered this was issue one of the comic when I looked at the back page), and so can't help to be a bit disappointed by the lack of conclusion.

Rounding out the issue is a short comic by Bernie Kosar about Hiawatha, which I guess retells part of that poem. It's alright, but didn't impress me too much.

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