One Vazgog Steak, Scrawny Hooman with Spicy Sauce, and a Side of Blue Creature, Coming Up! (Errand Boys #3 Comic Review)

Written by D.J. Kirkbride
Drawn and Colored by Nikos Koutsis
Flatted by Mike Toris
Lettered and Designed by Frank Cvetkovic
Edited by Adam P. Knave & El Anderson
Cover by Nikos Koutsis & Mike Toris
Creative Consultant Erik Larsen
Bear Backup Story by D.J. Kirkbride, Vassilis Dimopoulos, & Frank Cvetkovic

In issue three of Image Comics’ Errand Boys we find the Lopaz half-brothers running for their lives from a giant worm creature and some angry Dirt Pirates after their errand to collect a baby Vazgog went horribly—though not unpredictably—awry. Will they emerge triumphant from the chaos, or end up the Dish of the Day at a Dirt Pirate Picnic?

In This Issue: We spend a lot of time in Jace’s head in this issue. With the constant threat of a relatively immediate and unpleasant death staring our duo in the face, Jace’s conscience kicks into overdrive and the guilt starts to creep in. Guilt that he had no choice but to drag Tawnk into his whirlwind of an existence. In between the bouts of guilt, however, there are other things to be dealt with—hungry Dirt Pirates being at the top of the list. In addition to Jace, Tawnk, and the baby Vazgog, the pirates capture the mother Vazgog and take them all back to camp to get cooking. (Dirt Pirates are surprisingly devoted to good seasonings and appropriate culinary techniques.) While the pirates are otherwise occupied and Jace is having another attack of conscience, he also remembers that his little half-brother’s Theian half might have rendered him rather dexterous with his feet and tasks Tawnk with retrieving a knife the pirates missed when checking Jace’s belt pouches.

As Tawnk attempts to retrieve the blade, we switch locales for a minute to Jace’s place of employ, Bearrands, run by the strange and not-exactly-squeaky-clean Bear. Jace’s high speed chase on the way to Mauslio raised enough red flags to get Ebb’s Finest on his trail, and it’s apparent that when Jace returns from his errand that things aren’t going to be all sunshine and lollipops. Back on Mauslio, Jace is about to be turned into hors d’ouevres. Thankfully, Tawnk is able to open the cage he’s being held in an free the mama Vazgog, and after a brief scuffle with the aid of some spicy sauce in the eyes of the head pirate, the boys get a complementary flight back to the ‘Bego…and eventually, Ebb.

My Two Cents: You get plenty of bang for your buck with this book, there is no question about that. The story moves at a nearly breakneck pace through a wildly diverse place, full of colors and textures and angles and light. Jace and Tawnk are always on the move–usually because they’re being pursued–and the supporting cast–usually the ones doing the pursuing–make their presence just as known as our heroes. Each issue ends just before something momentous happens, leaving you waiting for the next one to find out just how the Lopaz brothers are going to squeak out of whatever oddball situation they’ve landed in. The attention stayed with Jace this month, and it’ll be interesting to see if that shifts to Tawnk’s point of view in the next issue or just digs deeper into Jace’s psyche. What with Bear making a deal at Jace’s expense while he’s away on the Vazgog errand will definitely cause an upheaval.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
I know I've harped on this book for lackluster writing before, and I'm about to do it again. The narration is poor, but the dialogue in this issue in particular was grating. An attempt was made to give the Dirt Pirates a sort of hybrid Bible-Belt-plus-Cockney-and-possibly-Scottish pidgin dialect, and it was so difficult to follow the sentence structure that I had to re-read the Dirt Pirate sections about three times each just to make sense of it all. With all the mental exposition on Jace's part in this issue there is a strange narration-to-action ratio which leaves the panels cluttered. There is another flash-forward-flash-back section in this issue which disrupts the flow of the story. The added bonus of a little mini-story at the end is fine, but since what we learn about the ancillary characters in those is never woven into the main narrative, they seem a little pointless. Maybe next month things will start to come together?
Good
  • Varied and interesting universe inhabitants
  • Constant action
Bad
  • Overworked attempt at vernacular
  • Clunky, stilted dialogue and narration
6.8
Fair
Art - 9
Story - 7
Writing - 5
Predictability - 6
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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