Wanted: Errand Boy. Exciting position for ambitious, driven individual. Sliding pay scale. Quality running shoes advisable. (Errand Boys #1 Comic Review)

Written by D.J. Kirkbride
Drawn and Colored by Nikos Koutsis
Flatted by Mike Toris
Lettered and Designed by Frank Cvetkovic
Edited by Adam P. Knave & El Anderson
Cover by Nikos Koutsis & Mike Toris
Variant Cover by Erik Larsen & Nikos Koutsis
Creative Consultant Erik Larsen
Backup Story Max and Jace: No Big Deal by D.J. Kirkbride, Manos Lagouvardos, & Frank Cvetkovic

This new title from Image Comics introduces us to Jace Lopaz, Errand Boy. On the world of Ebb, Errand Boys are employed by agencies to obtain and deliver items for paying clients, frequently by less-than-legal means. To be a successful Errand Boy  you must be quick of mind and speedy of leg, and our hero, Jace Lopaz, is both—just.

In This Issue: Jace is a single, thirty-year-old Hooman in possession of a devil-may-care attitude, a studio apartment, a ship called the ‘Bego, and, of course, his job as an Errand Boy. When we meet him, Jace is in the middle of a rough day. Running from the guards of the house where he just ‘acquired’ a cardboard box of antique Hitball cards, he soaks the package when he flings himself out of a window and lands squarely in the swimming pool. Making a desperate jump off the edge of the building he is rescued in the nick of time by Max, his not-quite-girlfriend. The client is incensed by the soggy condition in which the goods are delivered, and later, at dinner, Max delivers the news to Jace that she’s had it with his shenanigans.

No, it’s not a particularly good day in the life of Jace Lopaz.

Just when Jace thinks it probably can’t get any worse, Sentient Child Services calls to tell him that his estranged father and step-mother have been killed in a tragic sky-car accident and he is now the only living relative to his half-Hooman, half-Theian half-brother, Tawnk. Since the late Mr. Lopaz and his wife left no inheritance beyond the cost of ‘expiration fees’, Jace can’t afford to keep sending Tawnk to school and is forced to continue to work with his little half-brother in tow. It soon comes to light, however, that Tawnk is a smart cookie with great reflexes and could be a lucrative asset in the Erranding trade. Bear, Jace’s boss, sends them both on an errand to acquire a Vazgog from the dirt planet Mauslio—an errand upon which we will no doubt join them in issue #2.

My Two Cents: Errand Boys has the potential to become a well-rounded, thoughtful series as well as a delightfully whack-a-doodle romp through a fantastically colorful universe. The creative team plunges you straight into the thick of things which allows you to accept the universe of the story without question—the inhabitants are wildly diverse, the technology is akin to that of most popular science fiction franchises, and the premise, though derived from a trope, is just different enough to draw the reader in. Our introduction to the main cast gives us a solid understanding of their relationships along with just enough backstory to support their motivations, and we are prepared to follow them on their voyages of discovery—both of themselves and each other. The art is as colorful as the characters, and nifty little details like Bear’s cigarette having a face and Jace’s eyes being different colors add to the overall whimsy. Effective use of extreme close-ups highlight moments of intense emotion.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
Overall, I'm excited for this series. It's fun without being too frivolous, and has the capacity to explore the tumultuous terrain of familial and romantic relationships in a candid but reasonably lighthearted manner. The only thing I am having difficulty reconciling myself to is the dialogue. Both the narration and the characters' speech are clunky and occasionally stilted, sometimes making it difficult to follow the action. Coupled with seemingly random bold words in the lettering, it requires perseverance and occasional re-reading to recapture the flow of the story. It's difficult to know whether or not this is something that will be adjusted in later issues, but I hold out the hope that we'll see that change made as we go along. One last little tidbit—at the end of issue #1 there is a short bonus backup story that gives us a more in-depth history of Jace and Max's relationship, which I thought was a nice touch. It remains to be seen if every issue has one of these, or if this was a one-off. I guess we'll find out in issue #2!
Good
  • Fascinating color palate
  • Quirky artistic details
Bad
  • Clunky, stilted dialogue and narration
7.3
Good
Art - 9
Story - 8
Writing - 5
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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