It was, gee, just about a year ago when we posted the news that Mike Norton was turning his Conan-meets-canine T-shirt design Battlepug into a webcomic. It’s been a great year for the comic, which uses the framing tale of a naked lady telling a bedtime story to her two dogs as a starting point for a hilariously imaginative tale of a warrior bent on revenge and his two traveling companions, a lunatic and a giant pug. It’s completely incongruous, but it also makes perfect sense, in a weird sort of way: Norton didn’t just throw together a couple of disparate elements, he integrated them into a real story, using the tropes of fantasy literature but pitting his hero against cute characters gone bad, including a giant baby seal, gophers who unite to form a mega-gopher, and an evil Santa figure. A parody would have worn thin pretty quickly; with Battlepug, you keep reading just to see what crazy creature Norton is going to come up with next.
And now it’s coming to print: Dark Horse announced yesterday that they are collecting the story into a print edition, with volume 1 due on July 4. That’s pretty much it for details, but as Norton says, “When I first made the Battlepug T-shirt, people kept asking when the comic was coming out. So, I put out the webcomic and now everybody wants to know when the book is coming out! I guess now people will want to know when the movie is happening?” Not soon enough, Mike. Not soon enough.