Sabertooth Swordsman #3 (Dark Horse Originals)


Rating: 4/5 — A Hilarious and Exotic Middle Eastern Dish Served with Many Spices

I love that comic books can be so many different things and come in so many different flavors. This digital comic is a mash-up of Kung fu movies, funny animation shorts, and Heavy Metal magazine comics, among many, many other things. The influences will be both obvious and different for each person that reads it. That is what is so amazing about Sabertooth Swordsman. The title character is just that, a Sabertooth tiger, but half-man, and with a large curved blade or Arabian Sabre type sword. There’s a lot of word play like that in these comics which makes them very layered and fun. The story, subtitled “and the Mayhem of the Malevolent Mastodon Mathematician,” is set in a Middle Eastern backdrop, possibly Turkish. This type of scenery and styling makes for a very unique comic and not one I remember seeing in comics. The story is rather easy, it’s about a simple man on a very important and personal quest.

You can often tell how well a comic will work just by reading the title page. It seems obvious, but I think we readers too often skip over how our comics were created. First of all, this story is both by the main writer, Damon Gentry, and the artist Aaron Conley. I like that the artist is both involved in and also credited with the story. The script, lettering, and grey tones are by writer Damon Gentry. This guy Gentry clearly knows a lot about creating comics. The writing is hilariously funny, with some of the best one liners I’ve read in awhile. The art, or pencils and inks in this case, are by Aaron Conley. The art is stunning to say the least. It’s also very stylistic and hyper-detailed. This is one of best new comic book artists I’ve seen this year. The art may be over rendered in some parts but it works well for this type of alternative comic.

You have got to try this comic just for the sound effects alone. The sound effects are hand lettered in this comic (versus a font) and they are hysterical. As our fearless hero gets beat up there’s a “bamp,” then “cresh,” soon followed by a “deck,” and a “pesh.” The sound effects are certainly worth the price of admission, which is only 99¢ I might add. This six issue series is being released weekly by Dark Horse Digital. It will also be released analog as a hardcover from Dark Horse in October, if you prefer to read it that way. I plan to pick it up as I think this series will translate very well to print.

Reviewed by: Ian Gowan – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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