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From the digital pages of Aces Weekly, Slash Moron has jumped to print thanks to his creator and writer, Bambos Georgiou. Our Darryll Robson reviews volume 1 which collects the first two Slash Moron stories and a few extras.
Review: Slash Moron Volume 1
Slash Moron is to Flash Gordon what Spaceballs is to Star Wars or Flaming Carrot is to, well, any Superhero comic. The first volume collects the first two chapters which were originally available through Aces Weekly, the online digital comic. It’s a soft backed, 62 page landscape book full of colour and daftness. Are you ready for the adventures of Slash Moron?
Professor Essor has discovered a new planet and needs a crew to help him explore it. Enter Slash Moron, a simple minded action hero type; a poetic Robot; and Gale Goodbody, a woman whose adventuring spirit far outweighs her distaste for clichéd action types, poetic robots and smart but oblivious professors. And so the crew of the Essor rocket set forth to the planet Varzoom.
Following its source material (Flash Gordon, in case you didn’t get it) the new planet is a hostile world packed with an array of alien life forms, some who are friendly, most who are not.
They rescue Gaz-Sharaz who acts as guide for the crew, and the reader, for their adventures on Varzoom. This action also brings them to the attention of Klutchmong, the villainous Emperor.
Chapter one introduces the many aspects of Varzoom and some of the inhabitants that populate the tormentous world. The reader gets to know a little about the crew of the rocket but most importantly the tone of the comic is firmly set out: It’s British comic strip humour and it lampoons the very best sci-fi.
Chapter two lands the heroes ‘In the clutches of Klutchmong’. This gives the villain chance to shine and cast his vileness across the pages. Part Ming the Merciless, part Barsoom from John Carter of Mars, Klutchmong is an inept mega villain surrounded by incompetents. He also provides most of the laughs in the second chapter which is mostly set within the confines of an arena fight.
Slash Morgon is obvious with its references and attempts to cram in as many gags as possible. Once you get the joke, and it shouldn’t take anyone too long to get, the book becomes easier to read as the writer allows the character to slide through formulaic settings that lambaste clichés of the sci-fi world.
The story may be simple but this allows Bambos Georgiou to pack the speech with throw away comments, movie character references and a host of visual gags. It’s not exactly highbrow but this means that is can be appreciated by a much larger audience. Children and adults alike will enjoy the crazy antics of Slash and his cohorts.
The art is bright and bold, influenced by such British children’s comics as The Beano, and in this oversized book format it has a real appeal. The colors on the page draw the reader in and create a comfortable space for you to get lost in. Not all of the jokes will hit the funny bone but that’s okay because the style makes the whole reading experience friendly.
It’s worth pointing out that despite the cartoonish style, the panel layouts and image compositions are subtly complex. A full page spread of Varzoom’s capital city, for example, is a brilliantly laid out to focus the reader firstly on the city’s leader and then, through a series of strategically placed body parts or angled structures, the focus moves naturally around the various inhabitants. This manages to give the reader, in a single image, everything they need to know about Varzoom’s dictatorship.
The straight lined pencils and inks are enhanced twofold by the garish colors provided by John Burns. Brash, vibrant colors are used to separate the Earth heroes from the alien world and it’s inhabitants. This colouring adds so much to the strips becasue it sets the tone instantly; a quick flick through the book reveals exactly the kind of lightheartedness that you can expect from reading the story.
There are a few extras in the back of the book which illustrate the transition from pencils to inks and a quick flip back shows the reader how much the color influences the overall style and tone.
Overall this is an enjoyable book and is enhanced by being printed. As a collection the story flows much better as the reader is able to become immersed in Slash Moron’s world. From a purely aesthetic point of the view, the book itself looks crisp and clean which helps to show off the work that all of the creators have put into the strip.
Volume 1 of Slash Moron is available to buy directly from the facebook page here.
And it is also available in the numerous issues of Aces Weekly, the award winning online comic anthology. Future parts are due for release, first on line and then, hopefully, in physical form.
Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow on Twitter: @DarryllRobson
A lighthearted, comical sci-fi adventure packed with gags and great art. One for all the family, especaily if they have a ‘British’ sense of humour.