Review: The Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung

Review by Connor Russell: Every now and then I find myself tired of the more mainstream comics, which is starting to happen more and more often, that's why I decided to pick this book. The name says it all really, although it doesn't. With the title and the image on the cover, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and well I enjoyed what I experienced.

Aqualung is the best agent in the Department of Defence, a secret government team created to keep the earth safe from the weird and paranormal. But the title of the book is “unemployment adventures” for a reason, at the beginning of the book the Department is disbanded because nothing has happened for fifteen years. For the most part of the story, the focus is on Aqualung trying to adjust to normal life, even though he definitely doesn't look the part. During this time, Aqualung develops a crush for the lady trying to help him find work and if that wasn't enough he believes that Mathim (a powerful demon) has something planned. All the while he has his talking orange tree friend by his side.

3377951-01This book was created by Chris Rhodes and Ben Fontana, written by Alex Schumacher and Scott Tamanaha. The pacing is done well, though towards the end, things felt a little crammed in for a quick resolve. I think maybe a little too much was planned for a short length, but putting that aside I still found myself being invested in the story and the lead character, Aqualung.

Alex Schumacher was also in charge of the artistic duties. The art overall was generally pretty sweet to look at and worked well with the narrative. My main gripe with the art however is that at times; character's faces looked a little off. Coloring was taken care of by Sara Machajewski, mainly consisting of flat colors and sometimes looking almost painted, it suited the art style well.

All in all I did enjoy what I read. Its use of humor was done quite well and never came across as forced. Although in some ways the book came across as being akin to Hellboy, that doesn't mean it’s a bad thing, it could be an influence. I hope a second book is made as I would like to see more of these characters and the world they are a part of. I recommend it to fans of Hellboy and adventure, or just like paranormal stuff. Check it out.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Alex Schumacher and Scott Tamanaha Artist: Alex Schumacher Publisher: Arcana Studios Price: $14.95 Release Date: 5/1/13