Friday, July 07, 2006

Sucker Punch #1 by Mark Jason Robards Mark Jason Robards’ first issue of Sucker Punch is essentially a three part story titled, “Today is the Day I Wish They Would Hold a Parade in My Name.” In between these three installments, Robards inserts shorter strips starring supporting characters. For his art, Robards uses a clean, effortless looking line mixed with very energetic poses; this gives his comic a real boost.

The characters in Sucker Punch look like what you might find in an Archie Comics/Eightball crossover. On the one hand, the characters are slacker types, but on the other hand, their actions are exaggerated a great degree like a “bigfoot” style throwback comic. Robards deftly uses devices like floating hearts and stars, as well as obvious physical humor like pratfalls and wildly hanging tongues. Clarence Bathwater is an aspiring writer who actually writes very little. His friend and ex-girlfriend Freida Beans serves as Clarence’s sounding board and reality check. Sucker Punch is Clarence whining about bums and not having enough time to write; he’s not a very sympathetic character. Instead, he’s just pathetic. Frieda is the character in the story you like. She calls Clarence on his bullshit. Two other characters, Harry Jiggs and Penny, serve as the stars of the shorter strips. Remember the annoying guy in the annoying movies Clerks and Mallrats, that’s Harry Jiggs. His role is thankfully small.

Sucker Punch is a 32-page mini-comic with a color wrap-around cover for $3. You can purchase a copy online at the Short Pants Press store. Short Pants Press is a group based in Chicago and St. Louis, and they have a damn fine postcard. There’s a duck on it, therefore I like them very much.


aaron dumin said...

This looks pretty cool. I can definitely see the Eightball/Archie influence in the art, along with a nice dose of Gilbert Hernandez to boot, though, he was also strongly influenced by DeCarlo, so perhaps your comparrison is best. Glad to see you back at it, Shawn. The summer growns to a halt when you stop blogging!

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Ray Frenden said...

Met some of the Short Pants people at Wizardworld. Really nice bunch and the work is very cool.