Wingnut and Fidget
By Brian Clopper
Published by Behemoth Books; $3.00 USD

It took me a few tries to really give Wingnut and Fidget a chance -- the book's comedy/sci-fi melding is just really not a genre I care much for. Spaceballs is one of my least favourite movies ever, and it should be noted that I also have no affection for Star Wars or any of its sequel/prequels, and it seems like those movies are a pretty strong influence on Clopper, who even recommends in a text note in the back that Wingnut and Fidget should appeal to Star Wars fans and gamers -- gaming, there's another thing. Don't get me started.

So, yeah, this was a hard sell for me. I started to read it the day it arrived in the mail, saw that wacky was the soup of the day and set it aside. I've picked it up and looked at it a few times since then, but I finally gave in and read the whole thing. And you know, it's not bad.

On the back cover, comics writer and critic Steven Grant notes that Clopper's art bears a strong influence from cartoonists Mike Mignola and Wallace Wood, and that's true, especially with certain poses and the way Clopper uses black ink to define shape. There's no arguing Clopper's got good cartoonist chops, and his style works well with the goofy stories he tells in Wingnut and Fidget.

Probably one of the better touches is the use of the unreliable narrator gimmick -- in the early part of the story, we read Fidget's journal entries about how he met Wingnut, while we see a slightly different story play itself out, to fairly good comedic effect. Of the two stories in this issue, the first is the setup, and not at all unfamiliar to anyone who's watched Return of the Jedi. The second story establishes the theme, that Wingnut and Fidget are bounty hunters who often get the tables turned on them and their targets often become the hunters. There's also another strong nod to Star Wars in the second story, so there's little doubt that Star Wars fans will probably get a charge out of this.

So, while Wingnut and Fidget is pretty far afield of what interests me most in comics, I have to tell you it boasts strong cartooning and could easily be a successful series that will, indeed, appeal to Star Wars and gaming fanatics. Grade: 3.5/5

-- Alan David Doane

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