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Double Jumpers #1 – By Dave Dwonch & Bill Blankenship.

Role playing games have always been the bottom rung of the geek ladder. Sorry if any of you reading this associate the letters AD&D with dice instead of bra sizes but if that’s the case then it means you were about as popular at school as Frank Miller at an Occupy rally. Nowadays however things have changed & role playing is big business, especially in the digital domain as World of Warcrack has evolved from a part time hobby to a worldwide phenomenon which has engulfed the lives of eleventy billion people who between them have amassed more nonexistent weapons than George Bush, more invisible money than a Ugandan Prince & wardrobe of clothing more ridiculous than Lady Ga Ga. If you are one of these people then I can only suggest that you read Double Jumpers by Action lab. It won’t cure you of your addiction to Azeroth, but it will mean that you’re not looking at a screen & reduce the risk of eye strain. If you’re not one of those people you should still read Double Jumpers anyway, because it’s great.

Double Jumpers tells the story of a group of game developers at a convention who, while play testing their new game, have an unfortunate mishap with a can of mountain dew, trapping them in the game, whilst the characters they had replaced in the game are now running around a convention centre in their stead. The first issue doesn’t really do much other than introduce the characters & set up a situation for the comedy to occur in, but it does get extra points for making sure that those characters are well developed & interesting. While Dave Dwonch has always had cleverly crafted comedy chops that have focused on the socially awkward here it feels like he’s collected some sort of mystical mirth power up to reach the next level & produce his most accomplished work so far as all the characters haphazardly try to deal with the problems that plague them both in the real & virtual worlds.

Unfortunately for Dave as funny and enjoyable as the writing is, it will no doubt be the artwork on Double Jumpers that gets this book off the stands & into hands. Bill Blankenship’s name is new to me & after a number of Google searches the man himself remains shrouded in a cloak of mystery. If he continues producing artwork to the standard he has for the first issue of Double Jumpers though then that will be a thing of the past & he may well overtake his namesake, the American football coach, who Google seemed convinced I was looking for. Simply put the art & colours in this book are incredible. Blankenship has clearly seen enough hotels & convention centres in his time but still makes drawing them look like fun while the books virtual elements look more fantastical than anything that the dreaded Warcrack could ever make you see.

In conclusion Double Jumpers has the potential to be a massive breakout hit. The writing is strong & self aware while the artwork will most certainly turn some heads. Whether role playing is your thing or not, owning a copy of Double Jumpers could very well make you the most popular kid in school.

Glob World #4 – By Jeremy Whitley & Jason Strutz.

With issue 4 the mini-series that is Glob World finally comes to an end. I have to admit that in the beginning, despite my love of all ages comics (or just all comics generally) I didn’t think Glob World was going to leave much of an impression on me, but then I was never really who it was meant for. However after 4 issues I actually think I’m going to be a little sad to say goodbye to Monty B Banana’s, Unagi, Professor Floob & the rest of Glob World’s inhabitants.

I mentioned last month that I was impressed with the way in which the creative teams working on Glob World had managed to weave the main & back up stories together so I was happy to see that with #4 the 2 separate threads finally united to bring about a satisfying (if somewhat unexpectedly epic) conclusion. Monty B Banana’s finally cracks the case & Professor Floob comes face to face with a familiar face from his past, all of which culminates in a showdown that can only be stopped by all of the Globs working together. This time around the art & writing duties fall solely at the feet of Jason Strutz & Jeremy Whitley. For those readers more used to their work together on the Order of Dagonet Glob World may feel like it’s from another planet  entirely but it also goes to show just how adaptable both of them can be when the situation requires it.

As a limited series Glob World has done a fine job of promoting itself & its website without ever being overbearing. The story has been entertaining & its lessons valid & well taught.  Even though I’m a couple of decades outside of the book’s target demographic I have genuinely enjoyed it & hope this is not the last we’ve seen of it. Glob World is a well written well drawn comic with some great eye catching colours & nice letters throughout. It’s a book that proves, both in terms of its story & its execution, just how good something can be when people work together.