Review: Shahrazad #0

The book screams Zenescope, no doubt about it. Pin up covers featuring female adventurers with porn star measurements, a mythical titular character, and a 'creative contribution' credit to Mr. J. Scott Campbell. That expectation isn't unfounded; the book luxuriates over various near naked ladies, barely covered by costumes that resemble broad fiction stereotypes, but in the scant pages that make up this teaser I am pleased to say that Shahrazad actually delivers on promises that Zenescope makes a business out of breaking. The title character is a mythical queen who was the teller of the famous '1001 Arabian Nights' tales, here an immortal with millennia of adventures under her belt (That's not a belt? Those are her pants? My mistake). There's no real plot to the preview, that information was provided by the afterword at the rear of the comic. Rather the comic is a series of splash pages, a Table of Contents of the pulpy journeys to come, from the hot and sweaty jungles of dinosaur gumbo to the sleek silver halls of space travel.

Shahrazad-0_CI can't really imagine paying for it, so brief that it feels like a Free Comic Book Day teaser, slender enough in content I was taken aback when it decided to suddenly end. Despite this, it features art as colorful and rich as the cover, almost entirely made up of splash pages letting pencilist Mike Krome and colorist Nei Ruffino dream their biggest, wildest, and most promiscuous dreams in vivid style. A great amount of detail and care went into each page, almost like an abject challenge to every bland discount page of interior Zenescope art that skulked behind their deeply rendered covers. Big Dog Comics is says Ha! Every page of our comic is a cover!

I must admit the premise is compelling, and writer Tom Hutchinson makes the script feel slightly elevated above its intentionally popcorn aesthetic; a beautiful immortal traipsing through a multiverse of action adventure genres? With art like this it's quite the pitch. I can't say the Halloween Dress up style is really my cup of tea, but for people wishing someone would get serious about making a late-90's Adventure Boobs comic, this one might be worth a look.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Tom Hutchison Artist: Mike Krome Publisher: Big Dog Ink Price: $1.99