By Dustin Cabeal
Full disclosure I know the writer of this book Erik McAlister. He used to write for Comic Bastards and wrote many fair and balanced reviews for the site. That said, I will do the same for him as I take a crack at Leash Baby Kung-Fu #2. I will fully admit that the first issue wasn’t my cup a tea. It was a solid book and extremely consistent from beginning to end.
You’re probably wondering if this second issue was my cup of tea? Surprisingly to me, it kinda was. I wouldn’t say that I’m in love with the series, but it has grown a lot since its first issue. The pacing has improved, spacing the story with the humor all the way throughout.
What also works for the story is that it’s divided into three parts and labeled as such. The first part of the story half explains how the baby knows kung-fu and there’s a bit of a movie reference as well, which should be fairly obvious. The lifted line works and didn’t make me roll my eyes which believe me happens quite easily. This issue also introduces the big bad guy for the series and while they’re not fully revealed it works. It has a Saturday morning Inspector Gadget feel to it by keeping the villain hidden in the shadows. That and I’m secretly hoping it’s an evil twin baby… god, I hope it’s an evil twin baby or something equally ridiculous.
The dialogue is kept to a minimum which plays to the strengthen of the series. You’re given just enough to get the idea of any one particular character and just enough story to go with it. McAlister makes sure that the goofy tone of the series comes through with an addition of the next battle, I won’t spoil it, but it was one of the funny parts of the book.
As for the art, it’s vastly improved in my opinion. Mostly in the area of the coloring which gives it a fuller look. The linework from Shawn Daley is cleaner but still, maintains his loose style. The backgrounds are at the same level of detail as the rest of the book rather than looking messy. The baby does look like a baby, but the pacifier continues to bother me. I’m sure it’s just easier to have it move with the shape of the mouth, but it’s pretty massive at times and changes shape based on the babies expression. It needs to either change shape more or less, not my call on which one. Otherwise, the artwork shines on this issue and showcases Daley’s talent.
Leash Baby Kung-Fu is a series that I feel you will know based on looking at the cover if it’s for you or not. If the title and the cover don’t interest you, then it’s very doubtful that the interior will sway you. If you are willing to take a chance on something new, that shows its love for kung-fu, then check out Leash Baby King-Fu.
Leash Baby Kung-Fu #2
Writer: Erik McAlister
Artist: Shawn Daley
Publisher: Legacy Comics