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‘Iron Bard Ballisto:’ Graphic Novel Review

Sit ye down, and I’ll spin ye a tale.

Ben Hutchings is my kind of creator; he takes an idea and simply runs with it, never straying from the premise and never pushing any idea “too far.”  The Iron Bard Ballisto is a character who has definite influences from all sorts of media and is one that I find absolutely hysterical.  Imagine if Deadpool used musical instruments instead of deadly weapons, was more a friendly protester instead of a foul-mouthed lunatic, and fought for a cause rather than money.  Okay, so not like D-piddy really at all, but really, really fun.

Narrating his way into a corporate office, Ballisto aims to crash the CEO boardroom for reasons we can only guess at first.  Running through the well-equipped building security and a floor of specialty nasties, we sense that the Iron Bard’s aims are high.  I really hope that Mr. Hutchings will continue giving this kooky nut adventures, as his self-narrating and hyperbolic style are a freaking blast.  The puns are visible for miles, and it only increases the enjoyment for me.  A good portion of the book is taken up with song and much of that includes sheet music that looks rather jaunty. I wish I could hear how it's meant to be heard; it looks like a rollicking tune.

I think what really sells this silly book to me is the art style.  It looks like Dragonball Z drawn in blue pen on your notebook in Study Hall, which not only makes me nostalgic but also made me miss Teen Girl Squad from Homestar Runner.  I’m old, look it up.  The oddball style totally sells me on this thing, and the visual gags are clean and amazingly on point.  When he hits a guard with a banjo pick . . . my goodness, it’s hilarious.  Hutchings knows how to craft some really positive and smart humor, making for an all-ages book that feel like anyone could enjoy it.

This is a hysterical idea done with passion and wit. At no point does anything feel out of place or out of character anywhere in these pages.  The gags will have you chuckling and begging for more, and though there’s a subtle message, it’s handled in a subtle and quite enjoyable way.  Go and have fun with this Bard. He’ll put a smile on your face, no doubt.

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Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2018 20:22

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