This pulp-inspired weekly webcomic is given the collected treatment via ComiXology as Adventures in Pulp presents: Volume 1 brings the adventures of Dick Ruby and Dr Destructo to life for a whole new audience in Hawk and a Handsaw and Dick Ruby and the Case of the Little Greenmen.
Publisher: Adventures in Pulp
Writer: Brett Harris
Artist: Matthew Childers
Price: £0.69 from ComiXology
As you would guess from the title, Adventures in Pulp presents: Volume 1 is rather heavily influenced by the pulp serials of the 40s and 50s – which means tales of private eyes, golden age superheroes and little green men (and women) trying to take over the world! However, thanks to a webcomic publishing pedigree these throwback tales have a slick 21st century feel to them that makes them really stand out from the crowd.
There are currently 4 fantastic stories available on the Adventures in Pulp website, with two of the best now available on ComiXology. The first to be released is Hawk And A Handsaw, a Golden Age superhero inspired mystery that sees a enigmatic new psychologist arrive at an Arkham-esque asylum to take care of the ‘Hero Hall’. But is this mental institute for superheroes all that legend suggests? Or is their heroism just a figment in the inmate’s minds?
For issue #2 Dick Ruby and the Case of the Little Green Men, we are in more familiar private eye territory as the titular PI investigates a missing person and turns up some mysterious goings on in the New York City sewers in the process, discovering an intergalactic plot to take over the world!
In both offerings, writer Brett Harris plays brilliantly with genre convention, taking the reader on a journey into this familiar pulp-inspired world but keeping them guessing along the way. By merging genres like crime noir and alien invasions, he manages to make the stories feel both fresh and familiar at the same time – which is a tricky balancing act!
Both stories rattle along at a brisk pace thanks to the restrictions that were required for the weekly webcomic format to work and at just 16 pages each, there is no room for unnecessary exposition or meandering monologues.
Artist Matthew Childers meanwhile, does a superb job bringing this retro world to life! Mixing the classic lines of a Sean Philips with a slightly cartoonish air of a Darwyn Cooke or Bruce Timm, the tone for AiP is just perfect, capturing the classic pulp feel but giving it enough of a contemporary air to stop it feeling derivative. A large part of this is down to the exceptional colour work on show. Every screen is rendered with vintage hues that give the whole thing a sublime retro vibe, while the vibrancy of the digital colouring make every page leap off the screen at the same time.