Some comics rely on gorgeous art. Some on fantastic writing. And some rely on that very hard to find sweet spot where the art and the dialogue work together to create something that is greater than the whole.
That’s the case with Road-Sign Hank and the Aliens.
I knew I was hooked when I got to page eight and read this caption:
“With Penny sucked up into a flying saucer hovering high in the sky, Hank is left powerless to rescue her. (Hank is known, far and wide, to be less than good at jumping very high.) “
Hank, his girlfriend Penny, and his dog Arnie are having a normal day in the park when a flying saucer swoops down and grabs Penny, sending Hank and Arnie on a quest to rescue her.
I know, it sounds very simple. A summary of events doesn’t do the first issue justice because it’s all in the tone. It’s written very tongue in cheek, very much like the dialogue sample above, and it also contains some very funny fake ad inserts for rockets and x-ray spectacles. (“Glasses do not give actual X-Ray vision.”)
Funny is always in the eye of the beholder. But I laughed quietly when reading this issue and I’d love to read more. Yes, the art style is very simple, almost minimal, but it perfectly conveys the story and, more importantly, the voice of the author.
There’s a nice preview at the author’s website.
What Parents Will Like About It:
If you’re a fan of alien or horror movies, you’ll enjoy the cliches that are being gently skewered and if you’re old enough, like me, you’ll appreciate the fake ads even more as they’re obviously a homage to ads like the “Sea Monkeys” that appeared in comics back in the day.
What Kids Will Like About It:
Kids like humor. And, hey, it has a dog, too. He barks.
From the Questions and Answers at the back of the book:
Q: How come this comic book is soo great?
A: Astoundingly good question! And the answer is simple: I eat vegetables every day and engage in regular cardiovascular exercise. (The part about the vegetables and exercise is untrue.)
About the Creator:
Bryan Lunduke describes himself as a “developer, goat-herder, nerd, and man-about-town.” Whether any of this is true, I don’t know but you can also see him on video on the Linux Action Show.