Cowboy Ninja Viking: Volume 2 – A J Lieberman

Cowboy Ninja Viking 02This is another outing in one of the weirdest titles in comics.
It isn’t a bad little story, reminiscent of a Bond film or a clever 70’s heist movie. There are more double crosses than you can shake a stick at and the trademark timeline shuffling persists with a vengeance.

The art is the same pencil and block colour but we have dual tones now, and in some of the weirdest colour juxtapositions you will ever see.

This didn’t need another volume and in many ways it would be better off without a sequel to preserve the ‘lightning in bottle’ originality of the first book. But here it is and it certainly has a cool idea for Duncan.

Thumbs Up!

Cowboy Ninja Viking – A J Lieberman

Cowboy Ninja Viking 01This has to be pretty much the most bizarre thing I have read. How this got published I will never know. Imagine how cool it would be to have a Cowboy, a Ninja and a Viking team up and take on bad guys. Now make them into a single person with multiple personality disorder. I know, right?

This starts slap bang in the action with no explanation and then the timeline starts jumping about like a Space Hopper in an earthquake. Eventually you have enough information to figure out a starting point and make you go cross eyed.

The art is bizarre to say the least. Truly unique. Black and white pencil/ pen sketching with 70’s era pop art computer shading and block highlighting in a single colour. And that single colour will change each issue. So issue one is black and blue; issue two is black and pink; issue three black and green, etc. It is a garish nightmare. One that you quickly accept. Imagine Andy Warhol painting on a ZX Spectrum. The whole thing is very 8 bit.

One character with three personalities all talking at once is potentially horrendous. Imagine if he isn’t the only one like that? Cleverly the art will change showing our hero in a different outfit depicting his present personality. The genius part is the speech bubbles. Each personality has their own shape of bubble. The cowboy has a gun shape, the ninja a sword, the Viking an axe. Genius!

This will drive you mad initially. For a book dealing with mental illness that is quite an appropriate thing. It is nice to leave your comfort zone and if you haven’t thrown the book out of the window by the time it settles down you really click with it as the story is really well plotted and revealed.

For originality in concept, art and execution it gets the Double Thumbs Up!


Tomorrow: 100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call – Brian Azzerello