February 4, 2011

  |  

Ninja Zombie Robot

Written by Dan Wyke
Illustrated by Dan Wyke
Self-Published

You'd think life would be better for a ninja zombie robot, but instead, our hero is stuck in a dead end job in a cubicle. He's just about ready to give up when a chance to use some of his skills opens up. The only problem? The other candidate for the job is a pirate. It's a tale of the mundane with a twist, as a ninja zombie robot can only take so much before he snaps!

This is another mini-comic I pulled out of mothballs, but I thought it was good enough that I'd try to get the artist a little exposure. Dan Wyke hails from my old hometown of Pittsburgh, though I never met him personally. Unfortunately, the only web presence that I can see for him is over a year old with no updates, so I don't know if he's still cartooning or not.

What made this work for me is that Wyke purposefully ties in as many of the popular comic topics as he can (ninjas, zombies, robots, and pirates) but then doesn't use them in their normal setting. The characters have supernatural qualities, but they're also office drones. It's a gimmick that probably wouldn't sustain more than one mini-comic, but I liked the joke. We see a bit of action in the climax, but it's mostly to set up one last comment on ordinary life.

Wyke's art is not spectacular, but it gets the job done. The lines are clear, there's a nice use of solid black against unshaded white that shows a bit of inspiration from Sin City, and I thought the panel pacing matched the jokes quite well.

Ninja Zombie Robot does exactly what a mini-comic should--give us a premise, a few jokes (or serious commentary), and present it in a way that the reader can follow along with the story clearly. I really hope Wyke hasn't given up cartooning, because it would be nice to see more from him in the future. If you find him at a comics show of some kind, definitely give one of his books a shot. If it's as good as this one was, you'll be in for a treat.