“Cthulhu” is a word crafted by author H.P. Lovecraft. It’s the name of an ancient creature that appears in several of his stories and other stories throughout popular culture. That has nothing to do with this review but I thought it would be a nice history lesson. Cthulhu Williams is the first issue of the new series from indie publisher, Big Tim’s Funny Books. The titular character of this comic is the leader of a supernatural investigation squad. He’s your average hunky cop who closely resembles a Gerard Butler, Jake Gyllenhaal type. Other than him being the narrator and somehow immune to the supernatural I think he’s the least interesting of his group. The squad he leads consists of a Grey Alien that speaks in an indecipherable language (I don’t even know how the writer found the font that appears in his text bubbles) and a young mysterious woman from the future named Trixx. The main story here is pretty short and to the point. Cthulhu and company are investigating a series of missing children. It leads them to the home of a corrupt, demon worshipping councilman.
I was disappointed that the resolution came so quickly and easily. Even though it’s an issue zero I felt there was more potential to add more to the main plot. The other main characters are the highlight of this book. Their conflicting personalities remind me a lot of a police comedy sitcom like Brooklyn Nine-Nine. If the series continues there’s a lot of potential for these characters. This issue is more about the operations of the group as a whole which makes the title a little misleading. I also don’t think Cthulhu deserves it. He’s that boring.
This premiere issue is packed with extra content including a cover gallery, rough character sketches and two other “rough” short stories. They contribute to the story only by giving us more background details about the world and the characters. I would’ve been more satisfied if the writer, Tim Sales, used those pages to flesh out the main story or fit in another full story.
The artwork was executed with a definite style. There are a lot of neon colors and overall it has a science fiction feel. I have a love/hate relationship with three-dimensional looking art. It’s beautiful to look at but because it is so intricate it’s rarely consistent throughout each page. There are a few pages here that lack the definition and quality of the rest of the book and rather than making things look cool, they appear cheesy. The last page of the book is a prime example of this.
In the indie world zero issues are often a version of a preview book so I take this for what it is. Overall I think this zero issue is a good tool to draw attention to the creative team. It’s clear from the author’s notes and the extra content that this is a labor of love. I hope the creative team learns from this process and is able to continue the series with a full number one issue soon.
Cthulhu Williams #0 Writer: Tim Sales Artist: Mortimer Glum Publisher: Big Tim’s Funny Books Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing; Digital