COMIC BATTLE ROYALE – Skullkickers #18: Son of Tavern TalesBy Andrew Leslie
Posted on September 28, 2012
Once a year, readers of Image Comics’ Skullkickers, both old and new, are treated to a spectacle unlike any in the realm of comics. Hundreds come from all around to vie for the title of “Ultimate Tavern Tale,” but only one team can claim the coveted award. This year six teams comprised of eloquent wordsmiths and deft illustrators brought the sound and the fury for one, knock-down, drag out battle royale. Introducing tonight’s competitors, please welcome Michael Buffer:
Representing TEAM CHEW: John Layman & Rob Guillory
Representing TEAM LUTHER STRODE: Justin Jordan & Tradd Moore
Representing TEAM CORAZON: Blair Butler & Enrique Rivera
Representing TEAM BIG-ELLE: J. Torres & Alberto Alburquerque
Representing TEAM 27 BONNIES: Charles Soule & Michael Mayne
… and representing TEAM MYSTERIOSO: Aubrey Sitterson & Ivan Anaya
Now, for the thousands in attendance and the millions watching at home… LET’S GET READY TO SKULLKICK!
TEAM LUTHER STRODE comes out strong with “Weekend at Burnies,” a story that is equal parts funny and violent, setting the tone for the evening’s bout. Both Jordan and Moore clearly know what makes a great SK story and aren’t afraid to flaunt it! But, oh my, TEAM CORAZON’s “The Magic Bag” hits hard with a quirky story and art to match as their tale of supernatural woe skews towards the Saturday Morning Cartoon crowd. With vomit, tentacles and buried treasure, they could steal this one early on! All the competitors are scrambling at this point as TEAM 27 BONNIES takes a commanding lead with “The Corran’s Tears.” Michael Mayne finds that artistic sweet spot between horrifying and hilarious, while Charles Soule takes the reader from curious to merry to terrified to full of woe in six easy pages!
At the halfway point, it’ll be hard for any team to out-Skullkick these two! Up next is TEAM BIG-ELLE‘s “Games People Play” and they pull out the big guns for this comic melee! Not only is Alburquerque’s art creepier than a Tim Burton daydream, but J. Torres’ story definitely appeals to the inner-Geek deep inside all of us with the introduction of zombie slaying and role-playing games! Taking the game’s name to heart, the heavy hitters of TEAM CHEW step up with “Tavern Tails.” Layman and Guillory are heavy favorites to win tonight’s match-up and for good reason as they bring the funny to their story with expert precision. The veterans pack the most comedy into each panel, creating chaos as the teams scramble to recover. Finally the underdogs make their move – with “Dues or Die!” it’s TEAM MYSTERIOSO! Aubrey Sitterson’s bureaucratic blunderbuss of beards and bludgeoning is vintage Skullkickers! Shades of a young Jim Zub, if you ask me. Ivan Anaya’s art is action-y goodness with a vibe halfway between Edwin Huang and Street Fighter IV. These young bucks are showing the other teams what for!
After six grueling rounds and hours of utter anarchy, the judges have come to a decision. It’s TEAM MYSTERIOSO by a vote of 4-to-3! OH MY GOODNESS! DO YOU BELIEVE IN UNLIKELIHOODS! Congratulations to Aubrey Sitterson (@aubreysitterson) and Ivan Anaya (@Biroons) for out Skullkicking eight other, very game, competitors.
To see a replay of tonight’s events, simply pick up Skullkickers #18: Son of Tavern Tales at your local comic shop and visit the OFFICIAL SKULLKICKERS WEBSITE for more information!
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