It is a tale as old as time. Big brutish man kills monster, big brutish man is then asked to go on a quest to kill an evil sorcerer, man kills more monsters, man kills sorcerer, man finds out he was betrayed, and then man kills his betrayer.
Head Lopper Vol. 1 is a fun read, and the writing is good enough for a comic book like this. Meaning it won’t probably win an Eagle or even an Eisner for the script. However, not all books have to read like Y the Last Man or From Hell. This comic book isn’t a pseudo serious take on the genre. It is a comedy for the most part, with lots of action mixed in. Writer and artist Andrew MacLean does a great job of balancing the action and the comedy.
Head Lopper Vol. 1 feels very much like a spiritual successor to Conan the Barbarian, only a lot funnier. This swords and sorcery tale follows Norgal, a gigantic man with a gray beard, and a very particular set of skills – mainly lopping off heads. The name Head Lopper is the nickname by which people refer to Norgal, and it is one he doesn’t really like. With him is his sidekick, in a way, Agatha the Blue Witch. She is a decapitated head that Norgal carries with him everywhere, she also happens to be alive, and has a major addiction to food (despite not having a stomach).
Norgal is the strong silent type, where Agatha acts as the chatty comic relief. Her slobbering over food she can’t digest is a constant joke throughout. MacLean writes and draws a number of excellent scenarios that play to the strengths of both of our main characters. In particular when Norgal is captured and has to fight a scorpion type creature for survival. During this moment, Agatha is away from him, and attempts to have a conversation with a lifeless skull.
The art in this comic was a lot to fun to look at. MacLean’s art it is very clean and cartoony. There is a certain amount of familiarity to the way it looks. In some instances the art looks reminiscent to some of the things Genndy Tartakovsky did in his various animation projects. It also looks as if there is a bit of Pendleton Ward mixed in. The color palette is bright and colorful like Adventure Time. The world isn’t nearly as dark as Hellboy, but Mike Mignola looks as if he could be an influence as well in particular on how some of the monsters are drawn. The look of the whole comic is very pleasing to the eye.
Overall, Head Lopper Vol. 1 is a great comic. It is very easy to read and straightforward to follow. The two main characters make for an unlikely, but fun pairing. People who like stories about big muscled barbarians fighting monsters will enjoy this a lot.
- Story is easy to follow
- Lots of comedy
- Art has a familiar but fun feel