Overview

Golly! #1

Review

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Golly! #1

Credits

  • Words: Phil Hester
  • Art: Brook Turner
  • Inks: Brook Turner
  • Colors: Rick Hiltbrunner
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 13, 2008

A mechanic in Colonel Ruplinger\\'s Traveling Carnival and Motorsports Exposition, Golly Mulhollen just scrapes by in life, until an accident reveals a greater destiny.

Carnivals have long provided a backdrop for comic series, from the original Ghost Rider to the Un-Men. It has proven a popular setting for horror fiction because the sideshow freaks are unusual and terrifying. Golly!, from the prolific mind of Phil Hester, adds a healthy dose of humor to the mix, and we end up with a comedy/horror series reminiscent of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

The usual stereotypical carnies populate Colonel Ruplinger\\'s Carnival, including the hairy wolf-boy, the Illustrated Man, and the Strong Man, or in this case, the Strong Woman, named Pig, who used to be the Fat Lady! Of course, there are some creepy happenings at the Carnival. As Golly soon learns, he is at ground zero for a war between Heaven and Hell, and he\\'s being recruited by an angel. Or it could be that he is completely crazy.

Golly! #1 is a strong debut issue. Hester\\'s characterizations are clever and clear, with a great deal more levity, and depth of personality than you come to expect from sideshow freaks (I hope I am not being offensive!). The title character is a 29 year old mechanic who just can\\'t seem to get out of the rut of working for the carnival. He both drives and repairs the vehicles for the racing part of the traveling show: a figure eight race with the requisite crashes and cars held together with duct tape. This everyman quality makes him as good a choice as any to be an agent of the angels. He is made even more endearing for wearing his DIO t-shirt!

Andy Brase provides a gorgeous cover, with the minions of Heaven and Hell battling each other in the sky over our intrepid hero as he works on an engine. The interior artwork is provided by Brook Turner, a Shocktrauma Studios mate of Phil Hester\\'s. He was called upon to draw a broad range of characters with a range of face and body types, and he does this well. This is not a superhero book, and he does a great job of capturing what normal people look like.

The litmus test for a humor comic is quite simply, is it funny? To Phil Hester\\'s credit, Golly is funny! The humor is not heavy handed, but the entire tale is quite absurd, despite the general solemnity you\\'d expect from the Apocalypse. Golly is a unique and worthwhile offering from Image Comics and should appeal to those souls that loved Hitchhiker\\'s Guide to the Galaxy and other adventure/humor literature.

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