Comic Book Review: Head Lopper #1

 “Now go forth, child, into the murk,

Where the wind whispers darkly of things unseen,

Where widows weep of lovers lost,

Where glory is sought but never found,

Or so says the bones of men.”

Norgal ran out of doggie chow

Most of the time a longer book is a better book. This can be a problem in the comic industry where margins are thin. This leads to advertising laced books, condensed dialog, and the need to have a cliff hanger at the end of every issue. This can cause reader fatigue, often to the detriment comic shop owner who needs a steady stream of customers to keep the lights on. This reason alone is why fresh and engaging material is needed to keep comic patron from being disgruntled.

Head Lopper keeps me gruntled.

This is a long form of graphic novel. This allows writer/artist Andrew MacLean to tell more interwoven plots while giving the reader breathing room before they are catapulted into the next round of intrigue. MacLean can give his readers conclusions that are satisfying but not discouraging before embarking on another adventure.

Head Lopper is the story of Norgal, a mercenary to tends to deal with all his problems in the same manner; cutting of the problems head. Yet he will finding the source of some problems are not as easy nor as obvious. This is made abundantly clear by his traveling companion: the severed head of a witch he dispatched years earlier. Even the most innocuous actions can have ramifications, and Norgal has to come to terms with decisions he has made in the past.

It should come as no surprise that the art perfectly fits the writing, being that it was done by the same guy. To call MacLean’s artistic style simple may be accurate, but it does it a disservice. It is cartoonish to the same degree that Samurai Jack was cartoonish and nobody ever claimed that lacked subtly. MacLean displays grand vistas, graphic violence, and courtroom intrigue with skill and levity.

It’s a quarterly graphic novel published by Image. It is 96 pages long. It has no advertisements in the entire book. It only costs $5.99. Do you have to wait three months to get more? Yes, but let’s be honest about what you’re waiting for; a comic that is worth waiting for.