Archaia Studios Press released three new books this week, so I figured I’d do reviews on them, as well as a preview copy of the first issue of Robotika Vol. 2 #1.
I have to say, Hybrid Bastards, a collaboration between writer Tom Pinchuk and artist Kate Glasheen, disappointed me. It’s a great high concept, but the execution did not impress me that much.
The high concept? Tired of him constantly cheating on her with mortals, Hera cast a spell on Zeus eighteen years prior, and for one night, he fell in love with inanimate objects, and now the titular hyrbid bastards are all adults and are collected together by Panos, who is apparently sired by Zeus (but does not seem to be an half-inanimate object) to get revenge upon Zeus. The group is made up of a half-car, a half-apple, a half-brick wall and a half-pile of dirty laundry.
Great concept, right?
Not such great execution.
First off, the clearest problem is Glasheen’s artwork, and I use “clearest” as a sort of pun. Earlier tonight, I spoke of Rebekah Cynthia Brem’s artwork, and how its rawness can be harsh on the reader, but in the end, it fits for the story.
Here, though, Glasheen’s artwork, while decent enough for most of the book, falls apart quite a bit when the actual hybrid bastards themselves are introduced!
Her art it is definitely interesting to look at, there’s no doubt about that. As strictly an artist, she is great, but the sequential art falls down for me. Especially as her watercolor style quite often causes objects in the foreground to bleed together with objects in the background, which is deathly when you’re dealing with characters as bizarre as these.
These are the only preview pages I have, but you can find some more at ASP’s website for Hybrid Bastards (smartly, like these ones, they contain mostly pages from early in the comic, when the book is easier to follow)
The basic plot of the comic itself is a bit confusing, too. Hera announces her spell now, on the 18th birthday of the hybrid bastards. I actually don’t get that part – did they only come alive as adults? If so, then huh? If not, then why choose NOW to spring this on Zeus? I did not see an explanation for this in the comic.
I appreciate that Pinchuk tries to make each of the Hybrid Bastards have a unique personality, that was a nice job on his part. I also like the way that Panos slowly goes from treating his brothers as equals to basically treating them like the idiots they sure seem to be. And they do do some fairly funny stuff, like get back at Zeus by trashing his condo, but it just does not seem to be all that inspired for such an inspired concept (I mean, come on! A half-God/half-pile of dirty laundry?!? That’s genius!).
This concept is a really good one, and that’s to Pinchuk’s credit.
I just hope that next issue, he’ll have them doing some funnier hijinks, and exploit the absurdist nature of the situation more.
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