One of the great aspects of Viva La Villain King is the way the tone of the story engulfs you into the world. You can kind of get a sense of the world the moment you begin reading. Likewise, the story starts you off a little bit en media res, almost like we just missed a big event happen, and not necessarily the apocalyptic event that would have created this new world, but rather something that happened to our cartographer.
The illustrations of the series are what really makes it stand out. You get a mixed media kind of feel which is honestly amazing, as it makes you feel you’re flipping through an art book with a running story throughout. The off-putting thing about it, though, is that it can make following along with the story a little complicated. There don’t seem to be any defined panels; everything just kind of flows together easily, but that adds a bit to the appeal.
Viva La Villain King is more an expression of art than it is a comic book. Yes, there is a running story throughout, but there is something there that transcends the story. It’s a simple story, and one that you may have read before, but it’s something that can be easy to get wrong.
One thing to note that may sound nitpicky is that there were a few small typos here and there. Although they don’t do anything to detract from the story (I wouldn’t have noticed them if I wasn’t reviewing the series.), it’s just something that you keep at the back of your mind when finishing out a page.
The story itself is solid: We have a cartographer/jack-of-all-trades who travels through what appears to be an American wasteland. You get the kind of “Man with no name” kind of vibe from it all, with a touch of Fallout: New Vegas and a splash of Furiosa from Mad Max all wrapped with a nice and pretty bow. She’s a character that you’re going to want to keep an eye out for; her duel with the sheriff exemplifies that aspect.
Viva La Villain King exemplifies how indie comic books can thrive; it allows the creator to showcase what it is they can do and tells the reader a story in the way they want. Sometimes, it’s hard to find a story that feels different, yet doesn’t break the mold in regard to storytelling. It’s a testament to the medium as a whole, showcasing the creativeness a creator can have on a simple story.
Creative Team: Austin Shane Wellner (Writer/Artist), Taylor Rogers (Translator), Hannah Wellner (Co-Creator)
Publisher: Self-Published / ComiXology
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