Lookouts is, of course, a concept developed by the Penny Arcade crew. But Ben McCool, Rob Mommaerts, and Mike Norton make it their own, fleshing out the concept of a black comedy about the Dungeons & Dragons version of the Boy Scouts into something with its own world, while still being funny.
McCool’s writing strikes a difficult balance; the book opens with a scene that’s equal parts horrific and hilarious as two small children completely doom their family. It both emphasizes why training the Lookouts is necessary and is dryly, darkly funny at the same time; he creates a lived-in world in a few pages. Similarly, his characterizations are sharply drawn within a few lines for each of his Lookouts. These are kids, and the book is not shy about emphasizing some of them may be dead meat.
Mommaerts and Norton, meanwhile, have the tough job of pulling cues from another artist. They put their own stamp on it, and the art is just cartoony enough to soften some of the darker moments. There are moments that remind readers of, say, Jack Davis.
In all, it’s a fun, well-written book that fleshes out the concept and might just be the start of a genuinely original fantasy comic.
How about you? What’s your favorite comic this week?