Overview

The World of Quest Vol. 1

Review

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The World of Quest Vol. 1

Credits

  • Words: Jason Kruse
  • Art: Jason Kruse
  • Inks: Jason Kruse
  • Colors: Ray McIntyre
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Komikwerks
  • Price: $14.95
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2006

A young prince seeks the aid of an exiled adventurer in this humorous fantasy graphic novel. Unfortunately, said adventurer’s got better things to do!

After his father is kidnapped and his city sacked by the vicious Snarls, Prince Nestor seeks out the legendary adventurer, Quest: he of the phenomenal strength and ridiculously heroic jawline. Living in exile far from society, Quest wants nothing to do with the obnoxious young brat. But when old enemies attack, Quest is drawn once more into the life of adventure. It falls to this unlikely duo to thwart the schemes of the childish (but dangerously demented) Lord Spite.

Written and illustrated by Jason Kruse, The World of Quest is a decidedly offbeat addition to the fantasy/adventure genre. The characters and creatures are unusual, the hero is somewhat less than heroic, and the story is presented with tongue planted firmly in cheek. There is a distinct sense of childlike whimsy to this comic, a playful feeling that anything goes as the creator’s imagination practically bleeds onto the page. Particularly effective is the interaction of Nestor and Quest, whose antagonistic partnership has the air of a classic comedy duo in the making. Quest’s stoic, monosyllabic crankiness plays well off of Nestor’s frenetic and easily offended personality. The biting sarcasm in their exchanges gives the book many of its funniest moments.

As this is Volume 1 of the series, the story seems to be still finding its legs to an extent. A number of its quirky concepts are introduced but not yet fully developed. A prime example is the Katastrophe Brothers, a trio of talking animals who morph into an oozing, giant monster when wet. Who or what they are exactly is never truly explained in the book (Demons? Mutants? What’s the deal?). I was also unsure who the intended audience of the comic is. The childlike style and lighthearted humor would seem to indicate an all-ages goal, yet a prostitute joke and a (very mild) obscene gesture sneak their way in. Most likely, Kruse is simply creating a story that he finds amusing. As a writer, that’s certainly something I can appreciate though as a reviewer, I did find these little moments slightly out of place.

The art is an aspect where The World of Quest is quite unique. Kruse has an appealing cartoon-like style that fits the tone of the book to a tee. It is his character designs that are the most surprising aspect however. Though the story is a satirical take on the (ahem) quest genre, the look of the characters seems to owe as much to superheroes and 1980s action figures as fantasy. There are brightly colored costumes, skull-faced muscle-bound generals, men with iron jaws, and walking fortresses and prisons throughout the book. The characters look like a line of toys that never was. Once again, the strongest showing comes from the heroes. The scowling Quest is about 50% chin and Nestor has all the dot-eyed mischief of a Calvin and Hobbes character.

Though there are a few kinks, The World of Quest remains a fun, whimsical, and entertaining graphic novel.

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