All this month I'll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note - since this month is so relatively short, I'll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!
In this installment we take a look at Brian Parker's You Can Rely on Platypi, Books 1-2, the first two parts of the Great Machine storyline (each book, Cog and Lever, is named after a part of the Great Machine, so it works two ways!).
The basic concept of this comic is that Iggy P. Platinus, a young platypus, leaves home to go to America to pursue a life of adventure. Typically, that sort of plan isn't one that works out, but as we learn in this comic, this is one lucky platypus. In the first issue, he find a roommate, Jay. Jay then helps Iggy get a job at the delivery company Jay works for. One day, Iggy is enlisted to deliver a package to a young historian named Sonia. Some bad guys try to kill Iggy on the way to making his delivery. Once there, we learn that the item he delivered was one piece of a mystical device called the Great Machine. Sonia's dad was lost years ago searching for pieces to the Great Machine and she figures the only way to find her dad is to find the pieces herself.
Jay, being a normal type of guy, figures that no way is this something that they should be getting mixed up in. Iggy, on the other hand, has other plans...
Parker is an excellent cartoonist, as his pages just fill to the brim with vibrancy. Iggy is an awesome character - he is so happy-go-lucky but at the same time, so singleminded that he likely doesn't realize the risks of his quest for adventure can bring to his friend, Jay.
If you're at all a fan of Carl Barks' Duck comics (and why the hell wouldn't you be?) or at the very least the cartoon series based on those comic, Duck Tales, then you will absolutely love You Can Rely on Platypi. I very much recommend it.
You can buy the first two books (of a four book series) at IndyPlanet here.