The Chronicles of the Wavecutter #1 (self-published)

cotwc-header.jpgHigh seas adventure meets low-motivation slacker comedy in this new series from St. Louis artist Drew Crowley.

 

 

40 pgs. B&W; $4.00

(W / A: Drew Crowley)

 

Hunt Headwind is a boat captain, but not much of one. He lost his boat to pirates (naturally, he invited them onboard), his crew has dwindling to just four men strong, and when we meet our hero Hunt, he’s lying face-down in a gutter. Just when it looks like things can’t get worse, Hunt and his intrepid crew—one-eyed Rank and the surly Sharptooth—get arrested…for their belt buckles being too big. But Hunt never lets life get him down, and he’s got a plan to spring them out of jail, grab their cook Smitty (who is, oddly, French) from the local pub, and procure a free boat—all in time to see the next sunrise.

The cover to Chronicles of the Wavecutter #1 by Drew Crowley. Click for a larger image.Local St. Louis cartoonist Drew Crowley keeps things simple in The Chronicles of the Wavecutter. His art style is unpolished, with plain, cartoonish character designs and page layouts that follow a strict 4-horizontal-panels-per-page format.

Crowley’s obviously still learning his craft here, but the results are promising. Early on the gags tend to fall flat mostly due to awkward pacing, as if Crowley can’t quite decide whether to tell a straightforward adventure story or to use the four-panel format in a comic strip style to end each page with a punchline. Yet as the book goes on and the characters become more familiar, their foibles become funnier, and the shear weirdness of its tone—which teeters between classic old-timey pirate adventures and a modern slacker comedy—starts to sink in, giving the jokes an extra kick. Crowley may not quite have found his sea legs yet, but by the time his adventure reaches its last page, the idea of spending another issue or two with this ragtag group of sailors doesn’t seem so bad. | Jason Green

See more of Crowley’s work at http://www.drewcrowley.com/; to check out a preview, visit his Flickr page.

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