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The Miscellaneous Adventures of Stykman #1

By Andy Doan
May 11, 2008 - 18:53

Stykman #1
Stykman is the marquee title from a.k.a. Comics and writer/artist Jonnie Allan.  Issue #1 is the world premier of the title character in action. It's obvious from the quality of the issue that a lot of hard work went into this maiden release.

Here we get to see Stykman square off against the head of the Jolly Roger Candy Corporation during the annual Hey-Day Parade. The action starts three pages in and doesn't stop until four panels from the end. We're introduced to a few likely (hopefully) reoccurring characters and introduced to the style of the series.

I found myself immediately drawn in by the humor of the book within the first few panels. By the time I turned the first page I found the stage and theme of the story to follow had been skillfully set. From here I already understood the type of humor to expect the rest of the way through. The jokes were good, not "laugh out loud" good but they kept me smiling right up until the end. The characters were shallow with easily identifiable motives, which worked well for the purposes of the story.

I found the art work about average. There are times where the inexperience of the creator was obvious but not to the degree that it was much of a distraction (until later). A few of the action sequences in the book were a little hard to decipher. I had to go back over a few panels once or twice just to get a take on what was happening. In these cases the narrative pulled me too far ahead in the timeline. These syncing issues  seem to only pop up during  high panel activity. I also noticed that background characters received disproportionately less focus then some of the main characters to the degree that a few of them looked downright silly. A few secondary characters shifted in quality from one panel to the next. Not to the degree where they were unrecognisable but it was obvious that they could have used a little more focus especially early on. The coloring and shading are very two dimensional (cartoony). A bit too bright for my taste but I can understand it's use considering the overall theme of the piece. Of course none of this took away from the overall charm of the book. Despite the little things you still have to respect the efforts of the one man operation.

I wish that I didn't have to mention the this is one of author Jonnie Allan's first published piece because this work easily stands up to many of the other independent creations on the market. However there are a few things that smack of inexperience in this book. The overall pacing seemed to work for the most part but it was derailed a few times by missed synchronization between action and narrative. I also felt that the book pushed the silliness a little too far at times. I'm not a huge fan of comedy books but when I do pick one up I need to be able to identify the straight man right away.Stykman needs back up all the time.

Over all I would have to say that I'm quite pleased with the experience. The humor was silly yet smart in a lot of ways. The art was fun and worked the mood quite nicely. I hope that Jonnie Allan keeps at it (I almost said "sticks with it" here, but that would have been too much) all of the shortcomings of the book can only be fixed with experience. Be sure to check this title out if you want to take a refreshing look at super hero humor.

Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45

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