It’s been a tough year to be a Templesmith fan. Ten Grand started off with Sir Templesquid kicking ass with sass, and his team up with JMS was truly spectacular. And then, for whatever reason (who really cares why), Ben was off the project, and we Templesmithians were left with a long slog until The Squidder dropped. Ben’s been working with 44 Flood, a new unique independent publisher, who have recently merged with IDW, and thus, we, the comic reading public, are blessed with single issues of what was once only to be a hardcover.
I’m pumped as fuck to be able to tell you, my loyal minions, about The Squidder #1. Once again we ask the age old question, is it good?
The Squidder #1 (IDW Publishing)
We find ourselves in a world after giant alien squids have invaded. Little children are sacrificed to the new squid overlords, and humanity is now number two on the food chain. Our main character is the last Squidder; from what we gather he is a soldier with nanobots inside his body, so he can be healed after being heavily wounded. He’s ambushed by a bunch of bad mama-jamas, and he quickly tears them asunder. During a brief pause in F.S.U.-ing, he discovers the men with weapons have been sent by a boss from the city of Ridgway, a Mr. Gardner. He follows Gardner’s men into Ridgway, and finds out from the boss man he’s to gather up some missing property: a priestess for the Squids. Our hero has qualms with his job, as the priestess helps the squids, whom he obviously fucking loathes since he was in a war to try to eradicate the bloody lot of them. But, our Squidder, he also don’t give a shit no more, so he agrees to the gig.
This comic is very pretty, and the colors blew my fucking face off, John Woo steez. Templesmith has a fantastically evocative color palette he uses, consisting of primarily bright-ish reds, cool blues and greens. Or something like that; look, the background looks all creepy, that’s what I registered. And as always, his faces, and the way he writes in the onomatopoeia, well, ’tis rad. Nobody has the ability to unnerve quite like Templesmith. It’s like if Ralph Steadman was a huge fan of cephalapods and closeups of teeth, and people biting their own lips. I’ve been a horror fan my whole life, and writers and artists like Ben Templesmith offer such a unique style, even if you despise their work you have to acknowledge its influence. I come away an interesting combo of irked out and giddy with laughter every time I dive into some new Templesquid.
Is It Good?
Very much an intro issue, and yet it drips with atmosphere and foreboding in the way the best of post-apocalyptic fiction can when it’s executed right. This is Templesmith firing on all fucking cylinders baby, and he’s only just cocked back the hammer with this firstie. If there is any problem with this first issue, it’s that it’s over in the blink of an eye. It moves at the speed of a blood-thirsty squid demon from space. Bottom line, if you are a Ben Templesmith fan, read this book right now. Go. Go purchase this, right fucking now. If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic action shiz, you’ll probably dig this too. And hell, if you like monsters and BAMFs in dystopian futures, you should give this a gander. Excited to get my tentacles on the next chapter.