Review: Malden – Vol. 1

If you listened to this week’s podcast then you’ve probably been waiting for this review, if you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast (or the podcast in general) then please do so. Sadly this written review will not be able to do this series justice and so you may as well have a laugh on behalf of CBMFP. This is one of the funniest and entertaining stories I have ever read. It’s currently a webcomic, but the first volume was collected and released via Comixology’s Submit program. Because it’s a webcomic the opening makes zero sense. I was lost until the story really got going because there is no character introduction. The entire issue is about three friends getting giant burritos. No seriously that’s it.

All of the characters are anthropomorphic and include a bear, penguin, duck, a chicken and some elfish looking dude named Evan. When the trio reaches Gorditos they’re greeted by Gorditos Lord aka the duck that’s very Soup Nazi-ish. Casey and our main character Peter give their order and by give their order I mean that the duck tells them their order. When Evan goes to order he wants to look at the menu and this causes a problem. The Duck pulls a switch blade on him. After insulting Casey that the Duck wants Peter’s Pringles, but Peter’s unwilling to give him any. Fucking war breaks out between the Duck, his enforcer Baron Bok Bok and the trio.

This story is crazy, but I loved every page of it. The way the characters talked was very much the way I talk, especially with my friends. The epicness of the story is amazing. There are no peaks and valleys with the plot progression, just a sharp incline as each page is bigger than the last. This is also shown to us in the art with the comic beginning in black and white and slowly integrating color into the pages. At first it’s just a few things colored, but eventually the entire thing goes color. Even though the story is crazy, the writing is very strong and self-aware in a great and humorous way.

The art is what kept me reading. Since I had no idea what I was reading at first, all I had was the art. It reminded me of Frank Cho’s Liberty Meadows in a lot of ways. The inking is crisp and gives the series a great look and definitely made for a professional presence. You can see the improvement in the art style as the series continues; grey scale is introduced and then that turns into color and it’s just a beautiful process. For me personally, the art stole the show. As much as I loved the story, if the art wasn’t there to support it then it wouldn’t nearly be as good. Also I would love to own a huge drawing of the duck with the switch blade.

Maybe I did this series justice, maybe it’s just crazy enough that you’ll pick it up and that’s my goal. I was ecstatic to discover that there was more Malden to be read and I’m hoping that volume 2 makes its way on Comixology so that I can have it in an easy to digest format. I was honestly blown away by the skill that was hiding in these pages. If you’re looking for something entertaining, then this is it, look no further.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Peter Hon

Price: $2.99

Release Date: 6/5/12

Available on Comixology