Grant Perkins is somebody who’s been involved in the comic book game for over a decade by this point, with him likely best known to genre fans for his work on Strax and the Time Shark for Doctor Who Adventures. And if you’ve been to any comic conventions in recent years, you’ll also know him as the ever-busy chap behind Dwayne Hickenbottom. Now, we take a look at the first three issues of this utterly unique read.
Like plenty of his previous work, Perkins is on writing and art duties here, and he brings a vivid and extensive imagination to the story of the quirky saviour of Doxxville. They say that with great power comes great responsibility, but Dwayne doesn’t particularly want either the power nor the responsibility of having to save the very existence of time and space itself. Unfortunately for him, that’s often what he’s tasked with doing, for he’s got the magical Warboots of Doxxville that have a mind of their own; a mind that hunts down danger and evil, and makes Dwayne reluctantly face his fears and fight the good fight – all when he’d much rather be at home with his feet up and a nice warm cup of coffee. This reluctant warrior isn’t alone in his battles, of course, for he’s joined in action by the charming, excitable sneeeldoozer Nigel. Again though, Dwaye has the hump and finds Nigel’s attitude and enthusiasm to be nauseating regardless of the little fella’s sincerity and well-meaning nature.
On the flip side, we have “The Mighty” Bones, who is a villain of utter sadism and thorough evil. Ish. Well, he is the nephew of Lucifer, at least. While Bones talks a good game, he can often be found wanting, particularly when the shocking prospect of parenthood comes calling. But fear not, for much like Dwayne Hickenbottom has Nigel, “You Better Call Him The Mighty” Bones has Zombie Dave. As Perkins himself puts it in the inside sleeve of the first issue, “Zombie Dave is an idiot.” But he’s a loveable idiot, especially given that, y’know, he’s a zombie.
Throughout the first three issues of Dwayne Hickenbottom, we’re taken on a roller coaster of a ride from bonkers creature to even more bonkers creature, with the odds constantly mounting up against our “hero” as he somehow bumbles his way through. But not just huge set pieces and extravagant monsters, there’s also a constant ongoing narrative throughout the title as we’re given dollops of humour, continuous character development, and the show-stealing delights of Zombie Dave.
In terms of artwork, Perkins has a truly distinct style, often going otherworldly in his imaginative styling while utilizing contrasting colour schemes to give a frenetic, energetic and excitable feel to what your reading. As for the written structure, Perkins is always a sentence away from a joke. A dad joke, to be precise. And we mean that in the best possible way. It’s the sort of humour that will strike a chord with youngsters while also getting a good ol’ chuckle from even the most stoic of old hearts. The language used is easy to digest, while references of yesteryear overflow through the story and Perkins even throws in charming pieces of conjured-up dialogue and terms, such as the portal-opening (and awful joke-spewing) Giggle Maps and a whole host of pointless-but-brilliant products advertised by Fruitloop Industries.
All in all, the first three issues of Dwayne Hickenbottom are riotous fun that can be enjoyed by any and all age ranges, and there’s so much to love here for genre fans. And even better, the concluding fourth issue is imminently on its way. For more on the work of Grant Perkins, be sure to head on over to his awesometacular Etsy store here.
DWAYNE HICKENBOTTOM #1 - #3 / WRITER & ARTIST: GRANT PERKINS / PUBLISHER: SELF-PUBLISHED / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW