Comic books and the movie industry have developed an interesting symbiosis. With the rise of computer generated graphics, most of the more outlandish things you find in a comic book can be put into a motion picture. This has prompted comics to go even more weirder than ever before.
Joshua Hale Fiakov’s King is an attempt to out-weird even the strangest dreams of comic book geniuses such as Jack Kirby and Steve Gerber. The first issue is a fairly solid if simple introduction to the world. The titular King is trying to get to work. Alas, he lives on a futuristic Earth where he happens to be the only man left on Earth. Getting to work on time requires negotiating his way past a legion of surreal mutants along the freeway.
It’s tough being the last human. All the other people are weird dinosaur things or squid-infested Greek gods, or a biker ducks, or a sexy squid lady, or something even odder. King’s job is to scour the San Fernando Valley for artefacts of the previous age for the LA Department of Reclamation. The ultimate ‘score’ in that regard would be a thing called ‘the seed of life’, an item that can apparently restore the Earth to its former glory.
Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo deliver a vivid if popular art style. All this weirdness is very easy on the eye and each character design is carefully considered and rendered; we can easily see what the world once was and what it is now. The style is firmly reminiscent of Marvel’s weirdest excesses of the mid-‘70s and deliberately so. This is an attempt to be the oddest thing in comics. The first issue doesn’t quite make it, though; the story comes close, and if it does continue in this vein we could well be looking at something wonderfully odd.
KING #1 / WRITER: JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV / ARTIST: BERNARD CHANG, MARCELO MAIOLO / PUBLISHER: JET CITY COMICS / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 19TH