Heyo! Dan here. Recently I was reviewing our Links page and the lists of comics I am reading or have read, and decided to shine a spotlight on an excellent webcomic that reached its conclusion recently, Skullkickers. The story is by Jim Zub (who also has an amazing webcomic craft tutorials site), with Line art by Edwin Huang, Colors by Misty Coats, and Lettering by Marshall Dillon. Throughout the course of the comic, other team members assisted the core team, like colorist Mike Luckas and others. Too many to list them all individually, but that’s why you’re going to go to their site and read it! XD
Skullkickers is a swords and sorcery, action/adventure comedy telling the tale of two mercenaries as they do what they do best: Kill monsters and get paid.
For the majority of the comic they are nameless (and I’m certainly not going to spoil it!), so we’ll refer to them as the early chapters do. “Baldy”, is the aptly titled (totally hairless!) gunslinging human, and “Shorty” is his overly hairy, axe-toting, ale-drinking dwarven ally. Eventually they team up with another adventurer, an elf named Kusia, as larger plots converge on them. Throughout the comic and to the very end our crew stays true to themselves, and Skullkickers delivers both an epic story and a hilariously fun romp along the way.
How to Read It:
Skullkickers has completed its final story arc, and the entire comic is available to read online. Ebooks, softcover and hardcover versions are also available for purchase if that better suits your fancy. The comic is most certainly quality enough to deserve your dollars, and it funds the creators making more projects!
Why I Liked It:
Skullkickers is, simply put, a professionally done, high-quality comic. The writing, line art, coloring, lettering, it’s all excellent, from the very first issue. And then it keeps getting better as the comic continues! It makes good use of classic tropes, allowing for easy audience immersion into the setting and plot, but also lampshades and subverts them, like when some cultists realize what they’ve gotten themselves in to.
A good example of how the writing by Zub always strikes a good balance between furthering the story and finding opportunities for humor. You can also see this in some of the excellent and hilarious sound effects used in the comic. Along with the standard sound effects, you also get comical ones like these:
I wish I could just fill this post with examples of hilarious sound effects, but there are just too many. Seriously, my props to the letterer/writer for them.
I also greatly enjoyed the fun interlude short stories in between major story arcs. It not only allows the team to try new things and flesh out the characters, it lets them bring in other artists and art styles.
Anyways, the whole comic is great, and the final arc is just a load of fun. Slight spoiler: multidimensional archetypal hero goodness.
Things I Think Could Be Better:
Honestly, not much. Don’t be over? XD
There is some room to improve the existing website, in my opinion, if the creators wanted, but I think they’re pushing more the traditional comic route with ebooks and printed copies. I would love to see some kind of Extras section with fan art I’m sure they’ve received, Lore pieces and the like. Or really any sort of About page, with links to the various creators social accounts/portfolios/other projects and the like. The Archives could be a bit more user friendly I guess.
So some website user friendliness of bonuses would be awesome, but in terms of the crafted comic? Top. Notch.
If somehow I’ve failed to convince you so far the Skullkickers is awesome and deserves to be read by you, I don’t know what I’m going to say now that will do the job. The writing is excellent, with enjoyable characters, fun dialogue, humorous antics, and more. The art is professional, clean, and consistently excellent. The lettering and sound effects are possibly my favorite parts of the comic. AND, I know some of you may not like this, the whole story is complete, so you can binge through, read, and enjoy the entire thing without having to wait for bi-weekly updates XD
So seriously, do yourself a favor, and read Skullkickers. If you have in the past, read it again, and buy a printed copy (or at least turn off your adblocker you heathen), because it’s just that good and deserves reader support.