When I chose Tales To Admonish for review, it was mainly the catchy title that drew me in. I know that’s a horrible reason but I was hoping it was related in some way to Tales To Astonish which I loved years ago. Turns out that the creators of this comic came up with the idea the day after Jack Kirby’s ninety-sixth birthday. And it’s not so much an homage as it is tongue-in-cheek. Each issue has three short comics, each with vastly different stories to tell. But one thing is for sure, you won’t soon forget these tales.
The debut issue, Tales To Admonish #1, starts off with two guys trying to rob a comic store, in broad daylight. But the funny thing about “Sugar/Spice/Dice” is that that’s not even the dumbest thing they do. I will admit to not getting some of the Down Under slang being used in the story, but I got the gist of it at least.
The second story, “Icing On The Cape,” contains a lot of pop culture referencing (albeit of days gone by) and not just a little irony. But the true star of this issue, in my eyes, is the final story, “Lazarus Slept.” Featuring two paranormal investigators, Roy and Suzie, the dialogue in the story transforms what might have been a horror tale into one of hilarity. Even when forced to deal with an undead creature, they are more focused on their own relationship and less on the plight of the “monster.” I was chuckling the entire time I was reading it.
And to my surprise, Roy and Suzie reappear in the first story of the second issue! “Adam’s Ribs” is a tale of vampire slaying with a bit of Buffy love to make it that much better. By the end, staking the nosferatu seems almost an afterthought. It was quite funny and entertaining, to boot! “In All Fur Coat, No Knickers” we are given a glimpse of how trying it must be for superheroines to have a life outside of all that saving the world business.
The final tale in Tales To Admonish #2 is one of post-apocalyptic survival called “Salvation Nation.” Two lonely survivors expend the last of their oxygen on a quest for the Salvation Device. Supposedly this machine can save them from dying. But this story has a moral: we careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Writer Andrez Bergen does a bang up job, like always. Well known for his noir writing styles, he’s done a little bit of everything. Australian by birth, he regularly collaborates with artist Matt Kyme, who also happens to be from Melbourne. And while they individually are both awesome at what they do, together these two gentlemen turn out spectacular work. I’ve been following Andrez for quite a while, we became Facebook friends when I expressed an interest in one of his graphic novels. Matt is new to me, but I’m quickly becoming a fan. His bold art strikes a chord with me.
Amazingly enough, these comics are super inexpensive if you buy them in digital form and only slightly more if you want a paper copy. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves something offbeat. Some of the dialogue reminds me of Drew Hayes’ Poison Elves in that the snarky verbiage really creates the right mood for the story itself. Pick this series up if you can, it’s a hidden gem that deserves to be in your collection. No really, it does.