Written by Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol, Pencils by Jeff Stokely, Colours by Tamra Bonvillain , Letters by Clayton Cowles.
Coming off the incredible high of the DIE series, and loving what I’ve read so far of The Wicked and the Divine, I decided to keep going with my Kieron Gillen fix and try out his new mini series Ludocrats. Image describes the tale as “a collision of...the fantasy of Dune and an M-rated Asterix and Obelix.”
Baron Otto Von Hades and Professor Hades are the key characters in a world where it’s necessary to be crazy. The more Ludicrous you are, it seems the higher standing you have within the social and monarchal hierarchy. Now I would try and give you and overview of the comic, what drives the characters or what obstacles they have to overcome within the short 5 issue arc, however it seems to go from one crazy panel to another, not giving too much away to the audience. Otto stumbling from page to page to try and suppress his sexual desires while they all discuss how insane each character is. Barron wants to couple while the professor tries to reign him in all within the scene of a family wedding. Which helps to introduce the characters in the way of a royal announcement.
From the very first page of the rather large nude Otto, both the art and the colours are striking in a very good way, definitely matching the crazy tone of the story. The overly cartoony colours really help the art pop out of the page. This shows to me that the artists are having a lot of fun with the panel layout and the colours, doing whatever they want to do in what feels like a fair game to express themselves and be creative. To the point where we get some panels that look like they are straight out of any anime.
The art was by far the most exciting aspect of this book. The story didn’t do much for me as there wasn’t much of one. When you have a group of characters who are just satisfying their base needs with nothing to overcome, nor any obstacles of importance for them to deal with, you end up with boring characters who are just in a hedonistic haze.
Given the fact that I have loved Gillen's work so much, I will carry on with this miniseries in the hope that it will develop into something, or reveal that it is actually satire. If it were satire, there’s not enough “on the nose” remarks or gestures for it to be noticeable.
If you are a die-hard Gillen fan, then I’d say give it a go. However if you're like me, and you’ve loved the more thought provoking and well written elocution of the DIE universe, I’d say you might not get too much from this book.
Ludocrats was released by Image comics on 20th May. Available from comixology
Or if you are lucky to have a comic shop still trading, they might have a copy.