Written by Luke Anthony
on Saturday, February 15 2014 and posted in Reviews
"A galactic comedy of retarded scale."
Source: Skuds Ink
is a hilariously irreverent and inventive anthology written and illustrated by Skuds Mckinley. It got it's start via Kickstarter months ago
. The best way I can describe this 44 page trip is to think of it like a progressive rock garage band ballad. It’s rough, unpolished yet still pretty much in the best form possible. It’s a total of 3 unrelated short stories, one being much longer, sort of like two verses with a long outro. I’ll keep drawing from this analogy for the rest of the review.
I refuse to call this man anything but Skuds. I normally refer to writers by their last name, but with a name like Skuds, you can’t not call him that. And y’know, it’s funny/ironic how a man with such a trusting beard throws you out into this forsaken territory. This anthology is abstract, making you question the medium’s boundaries. Not an easy task. I consider there to be 3 different types of comics out there. There are stories, which can be told by word of mouth, but are assisted by the artwork on the pages. There’s events, which are assisted by the stories told before. Then there’s art. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, but they all have their places. Art in the context of comics, to me, means the words are crafted lyrically, and the art melds into the story being told. This is art.
I was pleasantly surprised by the first “verse”, Foxy Dulce. Truth be told, I can be just as, if not more skeptical with indie comics than with the bigger publishers. I want to like all of them. But there's plenty more that I don't like than what I do. This one borders a very controversial zone, and perhaps is purposefully skipping around in the fields of “too far.” Which I loved. It’s about a chick who does coke in an elevator and screws a random hipster. Ya. I’m not going to say anything else, it’s just...very interesting.
The second “verse”, Mican, was much different. It’s akin to opening up a closet door you expect to find hookers in, and instead finding a large room filled with a planet-building god inside. The depth in there takes a few reads. The condensed nature of this issue is what I love about it, but it’s also can be difficult to read for some. You have to pick it apart. Albeit a bit confusing at first, the way that the main character, Mican, addresses the issue of butt-sex with some kind of flower king is the quintessential showcase of my previous description as “hilariously irreverent”.
Dump City, which I’m considering as the “outro” here in this goofy rock ballad, is not quite as mold-breaking as the previous two originals, but it’s still original, and in a couple cases, laugh-out-loud funny. Two kids in mech suits steal some records in a post-destruction city then get high and watch it all burn. It’s a neat idea, but what’s even cooler, is that it was written with no end in sight. He decided on 28 pages and just let the story construct itself. All in all, I’d say it’s easy to spend an hour reading the 44 pages in total.
If you're willing to overlook the misspelled words, inconsistencies, and grammar issues (there, their, they're), then it's well worth the read. I think of them like a few missed notes in a shredding solo. And while I can’t vouch for the creators expressed inspiration drawn from Kanye West, he definitely has interesting ideas in breaking the mold. I will say that Rumble Moon
would likely benefit from color. Some of the panels can be hard to distinguish. I don’t think he even has software to develop his panels. Seemingly every page and letter was hand-drawn, which I'm completely okay with. It’s Indie to the fullest. I’m not sure there’s a publisher to house this type of slapped-on genius, which means he may stay Indie for this anthology, but I do think he’s selling himself short when he offers the whole thing for a dollar
. It’s worth way more than a dollar, so it's fortunate that he's using the pay-what-you-want model. Skuds a guy to keep an eye on, as his young age and pioneered style poses a threat to the status quo. And that's very welcome.