The first thing that jumped out to me about Orcs was the presentation. The character saying the issue number and the squirrel saying the title was just incredibly clever. The very next thing that caught my attention was the art of course. That cover is beautiful and eye-catching. The stories inside are very entertaining. There’s a world being created here. An orc world. The first story is introduction and joke set up. I’ll let you read it. The second story is called “Golden Nuts” and is about a group of orcs that may have been duped into following a map to a shitty treasure. They're attacked and embarrassed by squirrels. Let’s repeat that… squirrels. There’s a third story along with two more one pagers that tie into the first page, but I'll again leave them for you to discover.
There doesn’t seem to be a large sweeping narrative that creator Christine Larsen is going for. As I said, it’s more of a setup of a world and an introduction of reoccurring characters. In a way it reminds me of the animation formula of shows like Regular Show or a vast majority of Fredorator animations. It feels like an afternoon cartoon in that you’ll get a conclusion of the story by issues end and what you learn about the characters is carried on to the next story, but never mentioned again. It's a fresh start and story every time.
Christine Larsen creates a variety of characters that are individuals. I know that seems like a, “aren’t all character like that?” moment, but it’s not. They each have a unique voice and personality and that’s one of the things that comics, especially indie comics, tend to struggle with the most. Larsen has great comedic timing as well. She finds the right beats for story and the right beats for comedy giving a balance.
As I said in the beginning the art is eye-catching. The interior art is in all black and white, but it’s well thought out and plotted. There’s art that’s presented in black and white waiting to be colored and then there’s art that uses the two colors to execute powerful visuals. Larsen also uses some kind of gray pattern to give the art a newspaper strip look. I personally liked that as it gave the book a personality in addition to a style.
Orcs #1 is clever. It’s fun and lighthearted, but overall it’s a quality comic book. Everything about this books screams professional and that’s one of the biggest compliments I can give an indie comic. If you’re looking for a romp this week, then check out Orcs for sure.