This week, we take a look at Jagoba Lekuona’s light-hearted adventure comic, Smacks and Guzzlers, which follows the wacky deeds of two would-be adventurers looking to make their fortune in a world where most adventurers are, admittedly better than they are. Can this comic find the treasure that is reader’s enjoyment or is this one title that should be confined to the dungeons?
Writer: Jagoba Lekuona, Javier Barroso (Editor)
Artist: Jagoba Lekuona
Price: £1.49 per issue from ComiXology
Smacks and Guzzlers follows the escapades of Rolo and Merle, two lifelong friends who are also aspiring adventurers, travelling the land in search of fame, glory and treasure. The problem, however, is that these two are anything but what you would successful compared to the more epic heroes who travel the land. Nonetheless, this doesn’t stop them from trying as when Rolo and Merle learn of an abandoned tower previously ruled by a long ago wizard, they decide to make their names by entering to liberate the riches held inside. However, this now deceased wizard is just as greedy of those riches as our heroic pair are and, unfortunately for them, won’t let a simple thing like death, stop him from keeping them.
Jagoba Lekuona has created an immensely humorous and entertaining comic with Smacks and Guzzlers. The Spanish based creator appears to have moved away from his prior sci-fi and horror influences and created a medieval fantasy story, the tone of which feels very in keeping with British titles of a similar nature. The characters themselves, while relatively basic in their personalities, are nevertheless really well written and have a great dynamic, imbuing a sense of some of the greatest double acts in terms of their mutual rapport. If there is one flaw with this title then it is the plot itself, which feels rather basic. However, given that this plot is simply a device to bring the humour to the surface and bring the best from its characters, then it really isn’t an issue at all.
Meanwhile, Lekuona’s art work is every bit on par with his writing, as his style really helps reflect and draw out the humour from the story. From using D&D dice to decide who goes in first, to books flying off the shelves in a dangerous way, Lekuona’s style is every bit as light hearted and fun as the story it services. The style also works well given the art’s black and white colour scheme with plenty are bold clean lines and a great use of space, diminishing confusion in panels like many monochrome comics suffer from.
Smacks and Guzzlers is a fantastically funny comic, that causes laughter with every page that’s read and offers art which looks great. While it isn’t a title which contains an intricate and complex plot, the joy of it is that it doesn’t need or want to be. Smacks and Guzzlers is simply a light bit of entertainment to make you smile for 15 minutes of a day. And, given how everyone needs that from time to time, that makes this essential reading.