By Dustin Cabeal
Hold on, hold on, hold on… not those “Trolls” or even internet trolls, but rather Air Traffic ConTROLLers. The printed word can be confusing, so I’m laying that out first and foremost because I don’t want people skipping this review just because of one goddamn word.
I won’t be so bold as to say that I don’t like anthropomorphic stories, but I will say that I’m an easy 50/50 on them. It’s like walking a tightrope with me, one wrong move and it’s a Lifetime movie about the family of the dude that fell. That’s not to say that I don’t give them a fair shake, but my god have I read more books starring anthropomorphic characters than I ever thought I would when I opened this site.
Now, let’s talk about Trolls. The story stars Edward and Wayward, two Controllers that are average at their jobs. They cheer for every successful landing, and their boss is a dick that hates them. From there the story sets up two other people that hate our main characters, which forces them to work a double shift over the weekend. This way they can avoid the heat, but however, will they stay awake for two days? How about a giant fucking party a la Crumb style?
I’m not saying that I was looking to see some anthropomorphic boobies, but I also didn’t shy away from them either. What creator Michael Aushenker does quite well with his story is not lose sight of where it’s all going in the drinking and the sex. Which is the easiest thing to do. All three storylines are resolved, and while they’re resolved in a way that will make you hate the main characters, it’s only fitting for the story. If it ended the way it really would in life, you wouldn’t want to read the next issue, nor would their likely be a next issue.
The artwork is at time frantic. There is so much going on, on the page, that it at times looks messy. It’s an organized chaos if that makes any sense and isn’t nearly as mean as it may sound. It’s a compliment because at first glance you see a mess, but when you take a moment and look at the artwork, it’s rather crisp and well organized. The linework is simple and effective, while the coloring is tripping and yet vibrant.
Usually, when you pair up anthropomorphic characters with sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, it’s a quick pass for me. It’s not my bag or whatever the fuck the internet says these days. It doesn’t jive with me, but I enjoyed this story. The only thing that was “meh” to me was the ending, but as I said, it ended the only way it could. It just makes our two main characters look like the luckiest guys in the world, and maybe that’s okay.
Creator: Michael Aushenker
Publisher: Cartoon Flophouse Comics