Review: Beast Wagon #4

Listen… if you love crazy shit, then you should be reading Beast Wagon. The book is… possibly one of the craziest, most fucked up books I’ve ever read. And it’s really good too. What’s crazy is that the creative team kind of sums up each issue on the back cover: “Feasting and fornicating. That’s all our story’s about.” It’s not that far off in a very strange and fucked up way. Really it’s the only way to describe this issue, because I can’t. That and I’ve sworn off the more recappy style of reviews even if it was only part of my review.

Writer Owen Michael Johnson begins to show that everything in this strange and fucked up story is interwoven or, at the very least, is about to be. Our abusive Gorilla trainer’s story crosses over to our drug using writer that’s supposed to save the world. His story also crosses over to the owner of the Zoo’s storyline, who we learned is eating the animals last time. Our hippo keepers story also crosses over to the Zoo owners and the woman and the tiger. They all thread back to the villain when you really think about it, but it’s how they’ll overlap each other that will really make them important.

Beast-Wagon-#4The dialogue continues to be filled with dark moments, humor and dark humor. What’s always stood out about this series is the fact that Johnson uses realistic dialogue for the humans and animals. Even though the humans can’t understand them, they’re all speaking with the same slang. I could be wrong, but I do think that this is an allegory for social classes in the U.K., but what do I know about the U.K.?

When it comes to the artwork, John Pearson continues to grow on this series. At times, the first couple of issues were almost too abstract with the visual content. Pearson has adapted to a more traditional panel layout, but his art continues to be stylized and fitting for the story. I also enjoyed the fact that more often than not the panel shows something completely different from the narration or dialogue. It makes the visuals something you want and need to pay attention to.

In addition to the art there’s Pearson’s coloring which is all kinds of wonderful. I don’t even know how to describe. I doubt it’s a style that could work for any other artist and maybe not even another story, but it’s an incredible addition to the series. It gives the artwork and the world a ton of personality.

Ah man, there’s so much I’m not telling you about this issue. It might end up on the next CBMFP just so I can surprise someone with the content because it’s just so crazy you have to hear it out loud to make sure you saw what you actually saw. It’s a hell of an issue though and even though it’s nuts, it’s some fantastic storytelling; with the writing and the art.

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Beast Wagon #4
Writer: Owen Michael Johnson
Artist: John Pearson
Letterer: Colin Bell
Publisher: Changeling Studios
Price: £2.99
Release Date: 7/25/16
Format: Mini-Series; Print


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