Overview

Skullkickers #6

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Skullkickers #6

Credits

  • Words: Chris Sims, Brian Clevinger, Ray Fawkes, Adam Warren
  • Art: Joe Vriens, Jim Zubkavich, Scott Hepburn, Jeff "Chamba" Cruz
  • Colors: Ian Herring
  • Story Title: Four Tavern Tales
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 23, 2011

There are a ton of reasons to like Skullkickers, but here’s another: consistency.

Next week, Skullkickers #6 will hit shelves on time, the sixth time it has done so, achieving a feat rare in today’s comic book industry for a creator-owned series. As creator Jim Zubkavich recently stated, “that should be the norm for this industry but nowadays that’s celebration-worthy.”

And he’s right. One of the biggest challenges facing any creator-owned project is timely delivery to the marketplace. There are a million reasons comics end up late and publishers big and small have at one time or another blown deadlines. Typically, smaller publishers have more difficulty addressing this issue due to a lack of resources. Innovation and thinking outside of the box are needed for any creator-owned property to flourish but are particularly important for maintaining a realistic publishing schedule.

In an effort to maintain their spotless publication record, Zubkavich and his partners at Image Comics and UDON have re-packaged the old fill-in issue, offering fans something a little different than a typical one-off filler. Recruiting a battalion of some of the hottest creators in independent publishing, Zubkavich and company have compiled a handful of short, action-packed tales starring everyone’s favorite nameless mercenaries.

“Four Tavern Tales” offers up anecdotal stories by four different creative teams featuring Zubkavich’s gun-toting giant and foul-mouthed, axe-swinging dwarf hacking and blasting a swath of bloody mayhem through hordes of “Amazombies,” a platoon of arrogant swordsmen, potentially innocent, peace-loving zombie cultists, and something finally dubbed a “Chimerinhydraskluuaag”, with their characteristic good-natured, sociopathic glee.

While each tale typically ends with the same result – death and dismemberment for whatever evil obstacle blocks our heroes’ paths – the diverse array of styles displayed by the four artists is absolutely stunning and helps to differentiate between each tale. Ranging from the outlandishly cartoonish to the lushly illustrated, all four artists (including Zubkavich himself, who appears as the artist of the second story) capture the unique energy of the regular creative team, while retaining their own unique flairs.

A fun read from beginning to end, Skullkickers #6 is a testament to what a little creative ingenuity and good old fashioned entrepreneurial spirit can accomplish in today’s competitive market. Zubkavich and company have helped raise the bar for creator-owned properties and solidified his project in the minds of fans and retailers alike.

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