We always love it when we discover a new comic through a recommendation and there is a rich back catalogue to really get your teeth into. Immortal Ewan – Viscera, Cera comes courtesy of Legend of La Mariposa‘s James Lawrence on Twitter and has the same kind of zany humour and action packed artwork that we love in his work. So buckle up, for a book that, like it’s hero, will live long in our memory!
Publisher: Claude TC
Writer: Claude TC
Artist: Claude TC
Price: £3.50 from Claude’s Gumroad Store
Having discovered this series quite late one Viscera, Cera is the 11th issue of Claude TC’s Immortal Ewan character, but we are going to review it as if it was the first. But safe to say it’s a belter. From the moment a group of cyborg aliens attack the ship of our hero and he christens them the ‘Brogies’ we knew this was going to be a book we loved! (Actually, lets be honest as soon as we read the pun-tastic title we had an inkling we’d love this). Along with his long suffering sidekick Luvvit, Ewan is the last human alive and just happens to immortal. We don’t know why, it may have been explained in a previous issue, but he just is and we have to go along for the ride. And it’s one hell of a fun packed ride!
As well as reminding us James’ brilliant La Mariposa comics, it also reminded us of the wonderful Space Captain from Chris Baldie (thanks to it’s ‘last man in the universe concept’) as well as the sharp humour and silliness of Dan Harris’ Lou Scannon, Ben Kahn’s Gryffen and Matt Garvey’s Untitled Generic Space Comedy to name but a few. So if you loved those books, or TV shows like Red Dwarf and movies like Spaceballs then you’ll love this.
The writing is a glorious mix of gags and quips which is delivered at machine gun like speed, while the artwork has the personality and frenetic action of a Saturday morning cartoon mixed with an Etherington brothers style energy. Looking back at some of the previous issues Claude seems to mix up his style, using a looser more informal style for some of the earlier books. However this one has a much flashier style with cleaner, sharper lines and a simple greyscale colour system. While both have their upsides and Claude doesn’t lose the energy or originality by delivering the more polished style, we really enjoyed the slickness of this one and it definitely felt like a big step up (albeit from an already strong start point!).
As a one off you can dip into this issue and not feel completely lost thanks to the reliance on familiar tropes and absurd humour rather than long term story telling. However, as with the best comics there feels like there is some kind of plan hidden deep beneath the madness – it’s just hidden very deep indeed. Having picked up a few subsequent issues this is definitely the format for the series and helps keep each issue fresh and unique, while also not getting bogged down in complex long term plotting. However if this is your jumping on point then you definitely will be able to pick up the action very quickly.
In short we absolutely loved this book. It has the perfect mix of humour and great artwork that we love in small press comics. It is packed with imagination and inventiveness and it also never takes itself too seriously. There is a lot to be said for comics being fun first and foremost and this does that, but still manages to be a quality comic at the same time. With a generous back catalogue to now start exploring we are going to throw ourselves fully into the world of this brilliant character and we may just have found our new favourite small press comic!