Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of No Such Thing As Reviews! Otherwise known as Nubile Squids Tell Angry Riddles. I’m Ryan Atkinson and every Tuesday here on No Such Thing As Reviews I’ll be reviewing independent comics, T.V. shows, movies and more! The reviews will consist of a brief overview of what will be reviewed, a summary of the content (spoiler alert!!), my personal thoughts including if I would recommend the book and a rating out of 5 for the story and artwork and whenever possible we will include an interview with the creators!
This week I will be reviewing Henry vs The Reptilian Overlords of the Cosmos..That Have His Bunny issue #1 written and illustrated by Josh Rodgers.
The book is set in, well.. a couple places. Earth, a reptilian planet, Henry’s apartment. Lots of places!
Henry is a war veteran that suffers from PTSD in his own way. All he cares about in this world is his dear bunny and the damn Reptilians took that away from him.
The book opens with some reptilian beings that have some humans captive. A woman referred to as Enchantress and a man named Borin. Borin is making jokes about how nice the reptilian castle looks since he’s last been there and that all he needs is to find out what Saurator’s (the bad guy) plan is. Enchantress isn’t having his humour right now as they are being taken away in shackles but he still finds time to joke about it. One of the reptilians gets pissed about Borin talking and tells him to shut his stupid face.
The get to the throne room and Saurator welcomes them to his lair as all good villains do. Borin explains that he willfully submitted to capture so that he can try and talk some sense into him and Saurator passes him off saying that Borin being a boy scout is why he and Enchantress are tied up, and he is sitting in his throne and that he is happy to tell them what his evil plan is.
The first step of his plan is to kill Borin. Which he does right away. This guy is done playing around, he’s seen enough cartoons to know better than that.
Enchantress is obviously and understandably not okay with the whole idea and tells Saurator to just get it over with and kill her. Saurator explains that he would never kill one of his beloved pets but soon she will very much wish he did. He goes on to explain that he plans on wiping out the entire human race and could have much quicker if it wasn’t for Borin being around. Friggin status quo. He then shows Enchantress an image of “The Argnorrok”, a trinket that looks like a guitar pick with a ruby in the middle of it, with which he will have immortality and a whole ass load of power. And probably shred a mean lick or two.
Enchantress prays to Dio for a warrior to come and save them all.
Cut over to the main characters apartment. Henry is sitting on his couch snuggling his bunny talking to a government appointed shrink. The doctor explains that he usually doesn’t do house calls but he wanted to speak with Henry about something personally. The damn government is cutting the finding that pays for Henry’s shrink visits.
Naturally Henry is totally displeased with the thought and blames it on President Nixon being a tool to the reptilians (on earth they don’t know reptilians are real, Henry is just like that) and goes off on a tangent about conspiracies when all of a sudden.. BANG! A reptilian appears which vaporizes the fed up doctor.
The reptilian used a “space-child” (an adorable little alien) to teleport. Henry seems almost shocked that he was right all along about the reptilians but snaps out of it when it turns out The Argnorrok is around his bunny’s neck. The reptilian grabs the bunny and teleports back to his planet. Obviously not all right with his bunny being taken, Henry lunges at the reptilian as soon as it takes the bunny and teleports along with them.
Henry and the little cutiepie alien get dropped off separately from the reptilian and the bunny. Henry’s reaction is more.. Disappointed? He doesn’t seem scared or anything despite in the background being a giant eyeball walking on two tentacles, shooting an energy beam at a mountain. I imagine his tone of voice being like that of a kid who was just told he wasn’t going to get to go to McDonalds for a treat. The dialogue reads “Awww.. God Dammit” but I read it as “Awwww mannnnnnnn”.
Henry walks up to the little alien and notices he has a pretty big gash. Well.. His guts are out. He decides he needs to cover the wound but all he has on him is his underwear. The alien tries to stop Henry but Henry does it. They then start walking to find bunny. The alien says that if Henry carried him with two hands he wouldn’t be in so much pain (one handed is too bumpy) but Henry needs to cover his bird up because of “Catholic Guilt”.
Henry asks the little fella’s name but he explains his race evolved past the need for names, gender, race and other identifiable traits, that they were all one. Henry decides to just call him “Little Dude”.
They stumble across a dead merchant and his cart. Henry finds some clothes (furry underwear and a sash) and then out of nowhere a huge multi-eyed thing with arms and tentacles and lots of slobber, pops out of the ground. Henry thinks it’s total crap that he’s only been here for like 20 minutes max and already this crap is happening.
He fights with the monster and the monster seems to have the upper tentacle until Henry hallucinates an onion headed tiny wizard. The wizard tells Henry that he can teach him some spells that “Can damage dorks with low defense but are useless against everything else”. Henry, even with his muddled mind, knows that this guy isn’t real and decides all he needs to beat this asshole is a few good fist-burgers.
The wizard casts a spell that based on his incantation was supposed to make the monster sleep (with the power of Satan) but the monsters head explodes from being hit with what looks like a cannon ball.
Well it looks like a cannon ball because it kind of is. A pair of humans, Mr. Belvedor and Arachnadia, that are now on the scene shot the damn thing’s head off.
They appear to be tracking the teleporting reptilian or The Argnorrok. Arachnadia, the woman of the pair, is holding Henry at gunpoint.
Mr. Belvedor asks her if the energy readings they are tracking came from this quadrant. She says that their equipment hasn’t led her astray before and this old man (Henry) mush have seen something.
And that’s the end of issue one of Henry vs The Reptilian Overlords of the Cosmos.. That Have His Bunny!
I gotta tell you. I thought I was sold on this book just judging by the cover artwork when I saw it for the first time. The cover looks amazing.
But as soon as I turned to the first page I didn’t think I was sold anymore. I WAS sold. The artwork in this book is so cool, not only is it drawn amazingly well, it was also made to look like it was printed back in the day. The pages look grainy like they were printed on a coarse paper, and the colours are a tiny bit faded to give it a vintage look.
Aside from being sold on the artwork alone, this is a pretty great book story wise as well. It’s got a sense of humour about it that I really like. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously. Josh is clearly making a book for him and people who share his sense of humour.
It throws in elements of old cartoons like He-Man, Conan and more and makes sure it calls out the good and bad from them. Like the villain knowing it was foolish of him to spell out his plan in full to the (apparent at the time) hero. The crazy names, the monsters. The Deus Ex Machina that the villain wants and the hero will surely use to defeat him.
Also, in the book there are ads placed throughout, but they aren’t really ads. The adverts are for a video game called Kromdong and later on an advert for a candy bar which is a little one page comic called “Kromdong In: Bazongars In Danger”
Bazongars are the candy bar but we aren’t led to believe that right away. I’ve spoiled damn well enough of the book, you can check it out for yourself, but it’s kind of in a way a parody of Thunder Cats (to my eye anyway) and is pretty damn funny in it’s own right!
I’m really excited to see where this story goes and I can’t wait to read the next issue.
My rating for the book is as follows:
I know that’s pretty high for the artwork. Can’t get much higher than that really but I donno, I fell in love with this book without even reading a word just because of the artwork and if that doesn’t deserve a 5/5 I don’t know what does.
I would for sure recommend this book in a heartbeat. Anyone who likes 80’s cartoons, conspiracy theories, stuff that doesn’t take itself seriously, adorable little aliens. There is quite a bit of coarse language and some mature themes though, so parental discretion is advised.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Josh on a few things including his process! You can find our interview below.
What got you started in comics?
Awwww man, I just realized nobody was going to hire me to make comics because I sucked. I had to start somewhere so I just started trying to make my friends laugh with my first effort, Captain Mushface. I kinda just had fun doing it so I just kept making more and more… kinda like an addiction… maybe this is my cry for help??
How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Henry is a parody of a lot of the old ’80’s cartoons I grew up on. Stuff like Conan the Barbarian, Brave-star, He-man, Transformers- basically anything with a toy-line. I mixed all that with modern conspiracy theories and WHAM!-weird comic soup.
Do you use an outline or a plot, or do you just follow an idea and see where you end up?
It really depends on what I’m working on. With Henry I’m kinda working off a bunch of weird scribbled notes about conspiracy theories and bizarre ideas about the world. I’m not sure if Henry HAS a coherant plot, and it’s really designed that way. It’s meant to be chaotic with no clear winner or loser, and it’s going to get weirder and weirder as it continues.
What inspires you to create?
Everything from art to world news, and a personal drive to get better and produce more art. I love doing it so it doesn’t take much to inspire and push me forward.
Do you ever get writers block? And if so, how do you overcome it?
All the time! When it happens I’ll just take a small break and do something else for a while. If it persists then I jot down ideas of what wouldn’t happen in the story, or I’ll just sketch some weird stuff for a while. It all works. Anything to get my brain back on track.
If you could choose an actor/actress to star in a movie based on your book, who would it be?
“Oohhh man, I never considered it buuuuuuut…. uhhhh…. the Olsen twins?”
What were you like in school?
“Kinda lazy… day dreamt a lot… doodled on everything. I was also kind of oblivious to the world around me. I was living in a sweet sweet bubble…oh man that bubble was sweet. Now I have to pay bills. ”
What is your favourite motivational quote or phrase?
“Mark Twain was always fun for some quotes! Here’s a goodie:
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”- Twain”
Where can we buy or read your comic?
“My website at http://www.mushfacecomics.com ”
If you could only give one piece of advice to aspiring creators, what would it be?
“Just start. Create! Don’t talk about it just jump in with both feet and worry about the consequences later.”
And finally, probably the most important question of all: Star Wars or Star Trek? And why?
“That’s like asking cake or ice-cream! I say getting fat on both benefits everybody ;)”
I’d like to thank Josh Rodgers for taking part in this week’s interview!
And thank you all for reading! If you’re an indie comic creator and would like to see your works reviewed please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! If anyone has any suggestions for next week’s alternate acronym (N.S.T.A.R.) please comment below! 🙂
I’ve been Ryan Atkinson and I’ll see you all next week!
And remember.. There’s No Such Thing As Reviews!