December 1, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Bento Review: The Tick Karma Tornado

The Tick is back on TV again, but he started off as a comic book character, a mascot character that parodied the superhero genre as created by writer/artist Ben Edlund.

Comic Bento sent me an old collection of Tick comics from a spin-off series called Karma Tornado.  Here’s the thing:  Edlund didn’t write or draw any of these issues, with only some plot help to the stories collected here from other creators.  So, yeah, it’s creator owned, but not creator produced this time around.

As it is, of the five issues reprinted here, four come from writer/artist Christopher McCulloch.  He’s also known under the name of Jackson Public, one of the two co-creators of The Venture Brothers.  Considering the only episode of that show not to be written by McCulloch or his partner was written by Edlund, he clearly returned the favor.  Heck, there’s a character in a few pages who looks like a prototype of Venture Brothers‘ Hunter Gathers.  The final issue, which has the Tick suddenly zap from space to Earth without any explanation aside from a bit of text at the beginning, is from other creators and wasn’t quite as good as the rest.

But what is here has the sort of off-the-wall nuttiness of The Tick.  Sure, this version of the title character seems a bit smarter than he sometimes does, and Arthur is barely to be seen anywhere, but there’s some classic Tick-style humor and even a character or two to make it to the animated series (most notably, Omnipotus, Devourer of Worlds).  That said, this book didn’t have an ISBN number or anything, so I’m a bit curious how Comic Bento got their hands on it.  I’ve read some Tick comics in the past, and these weren’t quite as good as I remember, but they were mostly fun all the same, especially the first four of the five issues included.  The fifth wasn’t quite on par with the others.  Eight out of ten talking chimps.

NEXT BOOK:  Well, this may be the most creator-owned of the lot, considering it’s an autobiographical tale about one young man’s quest to become a pro-wrestler.  Be back soon for Headlocked: A Simple Step.

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