When I met the guys from Oni at HeroesCon, I mentioned that I was really excited about Ray Fawkes and Cameron Stewart’s upcoming graphic novel, The Apocalipstix, and that I’d actually looking forward to it ever since the first time it was solicited back in May of 2007.
I’ll admit, when it was finally resolicited a couple months ago, my mood could best be described as “cautious optimism,” but it looks like the cautious part was unnecessary, since they sent me a review copy of the first volume to read once I’d gotten home.
And I can confirm that it is indeed super awesome
At its heart, The Apocalipstix sounds like a pretty simple pop-culture mash-up: Josie and the Pussycats meets The Road Warrior. In practice, though, it’s…
Well, that’s actually exactly what it is. And even better, if you don’t count the issue where Josie gets possessed, it combines the best aspects of both.
The plot goes like this: After World War III hits with a nuclear bang while Mandy and the Mittens are on tour, the three-piece all-girl rock group not only survive the firestorm, but emerge into an atomic wasteland full of mutants, street-pirates and a surprising number of other surviving rock bands, where the gas they need for their last great cross-country tour can only be obtained by rocking out, ditching their previous name and emerging as…
Me, I woulda gone with “Hooray For Gooba,” but whatcha gonna do?
That, of course, is Mandy in the front, who fulfills the combined Josie/Valerie role as the tough-as-nails lead singer/guitarist/rock goddess, with gun-slinging and perpetually subtitled drummer Megumi on the left. On the right is Dot, who, aside from playing guitar instead of drums, is pretty much a one-for-one analogue of Melody Valentine transplanted into a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which hijinx ensue.
And ensue they do, and Fawkes does a great job of keeping things moving at a pretty breakneck clip. The first volume–and according to the last page, it is the first volume, hopefully of a bunch–is divided up into three chapters, kicking off with a high-speed gun-toting chase on the ruins of a highway and closing out with a Thunderdomesque Battle of the Bands. And really, the fact that I just used the word “Thunderdomesque” to describe it probably makes this one of the greatest comics ever just on general principle.
As for the art, I think it’s pretty self-evident from the guy’s body of work that his art’s pretty awesome, and there’s nothing in The Apocalipstix that contradicts that. He’s one of the few artists I can think of that can pull off stuff that’s deceptively cartoony, but still incredibly expressive and detailed, and–especially in the last chapter–it’s all on display here. Even the neat tricks that I’ve seen before, like the skull-shaped mushroom cloud in the opening, are done just about perfectly.
But really, there’s pretty much just one thing you need to see to convince you that this one’s worth picking up, and that is this:
That is the lead singer of an all-girl post-apocalyptic rock band Dragon Punching a giant mutated ant, and by pretty much any definition of the word, that is radical.
A review copy of The Apocalipstix was provided by the just and benevolent publishers for the purposes of review and general enjoyment. It should be hitting your local comic book store soon with a list price of $11.95, and it’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
You know if the power of rock allows them to tap their latent psychic powers than these guys owe KenzerCo a buck for swiping the idea to “Grunge Warriors”. That said, your review has sold me on the book…
Whenever a new comic comes out using the phrase “Apocolipstick” or some variant thereof, it just makes me sigh and miss The Invisibles.
Ah, yeah, the name always remembers me to Lord Fanny.
I nominate the alt text on that first black and white image as one of the top five Simsiest lines ever.
Hold on there, Woodward and Bernstein… are you telling me that titles are occasionally re-used?!
I, for one, will welcome our genetically mutated overlords of rock.
Hold on there, Woodward and Bernsteinâ€¦ are you telling me that titles are occasionally re-used?!
MASK: a tragic/comic tale of a horribly disfigured young man and his mother; a cartoonish superhero movie that introduced Cameron Diaz to the world; 80s cartoon/toy line featuring a few transformers rip-offs (they’re cars that become other, cooler cars).
Though seriously, I would totally watch a movie in which a disfigured superhero makes out with Cameron Diaz then hops in his car that turns into a flying car.
Steven, I think you’re onto something.
Isn’t that the plot to the third Darkman movie?
Wow. So that’s what having one of your best City of Heroes character concepts ripped off and then done better than you ever imagined possible feels like.
Late to the game here, but I just wanted to point out that the punch in question is really more of a Tiger Uppercut than a Dragon Punch.