Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ben's Indy Odyssey: Cursed Pirate Girl #1

Rickey asked me to grab this for him last week at Hanley's, which I did, but I was unable to pass it to him until today, so all weekend it's beguiling cover was staring at me, enticing me to read. I hesitated because the paper stock looks really nice and I didn't want to somehow mess up Rickey's comic, but the Texas Outlaw himself gave me the thumbs up, so I dove in.

Glad I did.

After I got the gist of the premise--I'd call it a tale of unlikely friendship between two girls infused with a dash of whimy and touch of adventure, were I writing ad copy--I was a bit skeptical that a 27-year-old guy like myself could enjoy what seems to be at its heart a fantasy story aimed at young girls, but I found it utterly charming and possessing an appeal that should definitely not be limited to a narrow demographic.

The titular Cursed Pirate Girl is a rad character, no two ways about it. A snarky little girl who beats up mean boys on the beach using swordfighting skills learned via dreams of a pirate father who she's never met? Yes, please! And the trope of having a wealthy governor's daughter become enamored of this adorable rogue is a worn one, but for good reason; it's uplifting but also a good tension-builder and watching the rich girl fence with her father's esteemed guests to his mortified embarassment is just fun.

But as good as the story is and as entertaining as the characters are, no doubt the art is the blowaway centerpiece here. Rickey described the work of Jeremy Bastien (who wrote, drew, etc. this) as a cross between like three dudes I don't know, but I do know I like it. You can see him working his ass off to fill every inch of every panel with a million little lines to create a crazy, vibrant world where a nutty story like this can justifiably take place. I love his exaggerated character designs and over-the-top body types, as well as how the little girls stand out in a world of grotesque adults like it's Alice in Wonderland or something. I will admit that his panel layouts lost me sometimes, and I had to read the last five or so pages a couple times to figure out what was going on, but I dug the experimentation and was happy to take the extra time, which I wouldn't say for a lot of comics.

Cursed Pirate Girl didn't alter the face of comics or art or anything for me, but I really had a good time with it and it was a neat little dose of fun. As far as mainstream comics fans are concerned, if you like Runaways, I'd seriously recommend this, as the two are very simpatico.

Hopefully Rickey will be unable to purchase the second issue on his own and need me to grab it for him again.

Couldn't find anywhere to order this online, but you should go to your local shop and ask if they've got it in stock. The publisher is Olympian if that helps. Here's their web site. And here's Jeremy Bastian's site.

No comments: