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Friday, October 7, 2016

Temple of The White Ape God. James Johnson (Writer & Art) WP Comics (2016)

A great, short sword and sorcery story that delivers all the genre requirement with energy and wit. A warrior and a warlock come to the Temple of the White Ape God to get an artifact and more importantly the payment for doing so. A quick battle with some apes sets the scene nicely before they move into the temple. The events in the temple are both everything they should be and nicely surprising. There is also a perfectly set up joke that joyously plays with genre tropes.
Writing sword & sorcery well is a very difficult task, like any genre it appears to be easy as it follows a widely understood set of rules and is so inherently absurd and theatrical that it should be simple to do. It is simple to do it badly, there is a very delicate balance within the genre that has to be handled with the care that James Johnson lavishes on this story. James Johnson may be gently mocking the genre, he is doing so from the inside out, the story is strong enough in its own right to carry the extra baggage without any strain.
The art is very friendly, James Johnson has not used a realistic style to create a convincing context for incredible actions, everything is slightly cartoony. This plays well with the light tone of the story, the action is fast but never brutal. It is easy to imagine the comic as an animated cartoon. The cast are well defined, the warlock has a bald head and a chin beard, the warrior is broad shouldered with an animal skin kilt. A beautiful and half naked female prisoner and a female winged monkey complete the cast and hit all the right notes.
The colours are as bright and vivid as required, this is a story that does not need subtlety, it needs amplification and that is delivered with care and detail by the colouring.
The sound effects are loud and support the action.
This is a smart, short comic that delivers the story with force and thoughtful force.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts. to purchase a copy of Temple of The White Ape God, good comics are a leading indicator of improved happiness and joy in living, it is available from  http://www.wpcomicsltd.com/comics

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