Overview

Pocket God #1

Review

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Pocket God #1

Credits

  • Words: Jason M. Burns
  • Art: Rollando Mallada
  • Colors: Paul Little
  • Publisher: Ape Entertainment
  • Price: $3.95
  • Release Date: Aug 11, 2010

Pocket God #1 is a very fun read.  For a childishly drawn book with such a healthy smattering of cartoon violence and ridiculous characters, this title features so many deeper philosophical messages which are told through the interactions of various baby-like pygmies.  It starts off sounding like a jab at the ignorance of religion then moves into a debate over the merits of ignorance over enlightenment.  It even evaluates the pros and cons of immortality before finally settling into this pace where the characters are all just poking fun at the concept of mortality.  The book tackles long debated topics that there are no real answers for in a relatively credible way.  

The pygmies represent people and modes of thinking from all walks of life.  There’s the naïve pygmy, the rebel pygmy, the laid-back one, the blind follower, the reckless and the intellectual; all various aspects of a single human being and of society as a whole.  The most amazing thing about these characters is their characterizations. They manage to convey the author’s intended message simply by being who they are.  Though the characters are by no means subtle, the story itself is not so in-your-face that it becomes annoying or preachy.

The simplicity and innocence in the overall art design is largely responsible for this. As I mentioned earlier, the pygmies are drawn very childishly and very much resemble babies.  This allows a lot of room for over the top humor which keeps the book interesting and engaging.  How many other comics containing laser-mounted sharks can boast such strong intellectual content?  My guess is not many.  The lack of blood and gore also helps keep the reader focused on the story and character development.

What makes this story so unique is the recognized immortality of the pygmy characters.  Because both the reader and the characters are aware of the pygmies’ inability to die, the cartoon violence and endless cycle of deaths can be treated casually even though it should normally be treated horrifically.  This all changes on the first page of the first story, though, as the pygmies find that the source of their power is fading away, and the next time they die will be the last.  What a surprise!  

The author could have easily drawn out the philosophical debate back and forth for two or three more issues before it became stale, but instead he chose to drop a huge game changer on the reader in the first issue.  If this is any indication of the kind of writing we can expect from Pocket God in the future, then this may very well be one of the most worthwhile titles in comics today.

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