Volume 1 collects the first three issues of Tales to Admonish. A lot of it consists of short stories written by Bergen previously (many of which are contained in his book, The Condimental Op), adapted into comic form with art by Kyme.
Some of the comics are standalone, while others reference the characters and events in Bergen’s previous works, such as Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat and Who Is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? My personal favorites, though, are the Roy and Suzie comics. An odd couple detective duo, hard-boiled detective Roy and his perky assistant Suzie (who’s actually his perky boss) come up against vampires, zombies, and aliens, none of which can interrupt their constant arguing. This volume features three (well, three and a half) Roy and Suzie stories, all of which are very entertaining.
In addition to Roy and Suzie, some of the other notable stories include “Hell’s Angel,” about a WWI flying ace who accidentally shoots down the goddess Britannia, and “Salvation Nation,” which is an interesting and humorous take on post-apocalyptic stories.
After the first three issues, there are a few extra stories thrown in for good measure, written by Bergen but illustrated by other artists. While I’d read all the issues of Tales to Admonish previously, these extra stories were mostly new to me. My favorite? Probably “Witch’s Brew,” with art by Gareth Colliton. It features magic, vampires, time travel, and Countess Elizabeth Bathory. So, basically, the volume is worth buying for that comic alone.
There’s a lot to like in Tales to Admonish Vol. 1 and stories and adventures for just about every taste. The keen observer who’s familiar with Bergen and Kyme’s other works will also spot a number of in jokes and subtle references scattered throughout. Sometimes funny, sometimes exciting, it’s always a lot of fun. I sincerely hope that there will be more Tales to Admonish issues in the future, but until then, this collected volume will do quite nicely.
Tales to Admonish Vol. 1 is now available from IF? Commix.