Battlepug is what happens when surly cartoonists play Dungeons and Dragons. It wanders from place to place with magic and strange beasts galore. Is this volume of the story of Battlepug greatness incarnate, or just some wandering craziness? Specifically, is it good?
Battlepug Volume 2 (Dark Horse Comics)
Battlepug is a tale of revenge for the main character known only as The Warrior. He is the last Kinmundgian and has vowed to kill the man who destroyed his family, viliage, and tribe. He is essentially Conan with a better sense of humor. His faithful steed is the namesake of the series, a giant pug destined for battle. The Battlepug is big, slobbery, and apparently the most useful member of the team, as he has saved the day multiple times. The team also includes a crazy old man named Scribbly and a foul mouthed ten-year-old Green Mage named Bryony. The Warrior can kill anything, Scribbly seems to be an insane mystic, Bryony can manipulate plants, and The Battlepug has all the powers you would assume that come with being a horse sized pug. While there are talking animals in this comic, Battlepug is not one of them. His powers of simple minded instincts and natural adorability do well to communicate with barks and snorts.
If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be “charming.” The whole book, the writing and artistic style, work together to keep the reader off balance. Where there should be horror there is a giant pile of cuteness. Where there is supposed to be innocence there is whoopass. In general this comic is heavy with irony, and is very easy to read. The “cuteness” in this book is often on the most dangerous thing in the area, so it doesn’t feel weird or out of place. Mike Norton does a good job of making all of the main characters likeable, useful, and genuine. Mike dances pretty close to some cliches, namely Scribbly using his name as a period and exclamation point, but they don’t get in the way of the story.
Some of the stranger parts of this series are the monsters; they are both original and not at the same time. They are usually just giant versions of regular animals, so you have seen them before, but the choice of giant animal makes them a completely new experience. If you want to know what I mean read the first five or six pages of Battlepug Vol. 1 at Battlepug.com.
- Lively world
- Interesting expression of magic
- Legit funny and charming
- Scribbly does the “snarf” thing
Is It Good?
Yes. I can recommend this title to all age groups above 12 with a sense of humor. The profanity of the ten year old is scratched out so the kiddies won’t learn any new words or body parts. The humor is self explanatory and lots of fun. If you don’t like pugs you might not like this series because a lot of the visual irony is based around the same visual irony that makes pugs fun to look at. Also, if you don’t like pugs you are a bad person and should read this book to try and be a better person.