Humorous comic about a musical barbarian superhero
I can’t remember exactly where I bought this comic from, but I think it was potentially from the creator himself at one of the Free Comic Book Days at Impact Comics pre-COVID. It looked fun and I’m always keen to support local authors and artists. It has been sitting on my shelf far too long and I pulled it out for the Short Stack Reading Challenge.
“Iron Bard Ballisto” by Ben Hutchings is a comic about an barbarian minstrel called Iron Bard Ballisto who infiltrates the multi-story building of a mysterious company called ZND. Using unlikely weapons like plectrums, vinyl records and actual song, Iron Bard Ballisto nullifies the enemies to crash the boardroom and save Tasmania.
This is a surreal, amusing story with lots of fun throwaway lines and ridiculous battle scenes. Hutchings is very creative with his use of music as a weapon, and pushes the theme to the extreme. The art style was both dynamic yet understated with a limited colour palette of blues and whites. I also really liked that there was some sheet music on the back which was fun to try out on my electric piano.
I think the only thing missing for me was clear motivations. Iron Bard Ballisto is understandably a bit wild but it wasn’t quite set out exactly why a body positive bra solutions business was harming the Tasmanian rainforest. Perhaps a bit more exposition would have been helpful (even if was as silly as the rest of the story).
A fun, ridiculous comic that was quick and easy to read.