Publisher: Renegade Arts Entertainment
Written by Alan Grant
Illustrated by Jon Haward
Coloured by Jamie Grant
I was alerted to this book by Jon Haward himself. I remember Jon excitedly telling me about this new book he was working on about the Buddha getting in all sorts of shenanigans before he eventually found enlightenment and became the deity we know today. Needless to say I was intrigued. The more promotional material related to this project Jon released the more excited I got and hence I placed this one on the top of my-must-buy-books at Malta Comic Con 2013.
What you essentially get here is a collection of comic strips featuring the Buddha in his formative years as he seeks enlightenment by travelling to various countries and interacting with a variety of historical/mythical figures such as Jesus, Elvis, Hercules, Cleopatra, Santa, Merlin and the mighty Fishmen which are so wicked that they deserve their own graphic novel. Think Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure substitute them with a horny, dope smoking Buddha and you’ll get the picture.
The purpose of the book is to entertain, something which it achieves with comfortable ease. Funny at best and amusing at worst this one appeals most to those with a wicked sense of humour. Those who are easily offended should stay clear, as for the rest dig in and enjoy.
Alan Grant’s writing is succinct and delivers the kind of blink and you miss them jokes. He does a superb job of mixing witty satire with situational humour. Jon Haward’s panelling ensures that the strips flow gracefully and his choice of cute cartoony style adds another layer of fun to the book. His linework is dynamic as usual but perhaps the most impressive thing in terms of illustration is the various vivacious expressions Jon gives the characters which brings them to life. Jamie Grant also does a great job with the colouring adding an extra cutting dimension to Jon’s work with an inspired choice of palette. Speaking of artwork this one also comes loaded with a variety of awesome pin ups from contributing artists which are truly a joy to look at.
If you’re looking for some light weight entertainment which you can go back to, then this one comes heavily recommended. Word is that a second instalment maybe on the pipeline, to which I can only say bring it on guys!
Reviewed for Wicked Comics by
Chris Le Galle