Iron Bard Ballisto is strange, fun and just the right amount of violence and humor. The story is pretty simple to sum up. Ballisto is making an attack on a building. An invasion really. But it’s just one building. And he’s just one guy. He starts taking out guards using musical instruments like guitars and guitar picks shot like a crossbow. He continues on his way facing different enemies until he reaches the boardroom. There he faces his ultimate enemy… the board… of directors. It’s straightforward, but very funny. One of the qualities that makes it humorous and charming is that Ballisto treats it like a bygone era’s raid of a kingdom and yet balances that with the modernisms of his weapons. The balance is razor thin and if creator Ben Hutchings had gone more one way than the other it would have been hacked apart. Instead the jokes hit perfectly for both aspects.
The writing is spot on. The jokes are paced to give the reader breathing room, but they don’t get in the way of the stories progression. Be it a simple story, it’s still paced and structured so that this standalone story hits all the right beats. Ballisto is a great character. We don’t delve deep into his personality, but rather just enjoy his over the top nature. We never question where he got said piece of music equipment suddenly, but except that it’s who he is… a guy that attacks with musical instruments and sings.
The art is a great fit for the story. it’s also by Hutchings and it’s left in all black and white and a periwinkle looking hue. The art is over the top and matches everything about the story. There’s a lot of physical humor to the story and the art delivers. Physical humor is made and broken by the art. It’s also very detailed which adds to world’s setting. Ballisto is the only one that’s over the top. While the others are goofy to the reader, they’re not goofy to the world. That makes everything funnier together.
This is a short and sweet story that is quite humorous. It provided a few good laughs and left me with a smile by the end. I would definitely take another adventure with Ballisto if it should come about. In the meantime, if you like to laugh while reading comics. Look no further than Iron Bard Ballisto.
Iron Bard Ballisto Creator: Ben Hutchings Publisher: Milk Shadow Books Price: $14.99 Format: TPB; Print Website