AdHouse Books Free Comic Book Day Comic Book
By Joel Priddy and Scott Morse
Published by AdHouse Books; Free

AdHouse presents an early Free Comic Book Day entry with this fairly representative sampler of what the publisher is about. It features two creators who have already produced books for AdHouse, Scott (SOUTHPAW) Morse and Joel (PULPATOON PILGRIMAGE) Priddy, and both of their work here is well within the whimsical mode typical of the publisher.

Oddly, the theme of this issue is not just free whimsy, but that both stories be produced within twenty-four hours. There's a danger in this, in that with a free comic one wants to put one's best work on display, not just the fastest work. Thankfully, while Priddy works in a much simpler style here, he has loads of comedic energy and storytelling ideas on hand. His story is a loose, picaresque adventure following a man through what starts merely as a slightly strenuous hike, and winds up with him literally in the belly of a beast. God makes an appearance as well, in striking brushwork that adds a visual boost at the right time. Plot and meaning are negligible, but like much of Lewis Trondheim's work, the joy is in some surprising turns and well-executed gags.

Morse fares a little less successfully with an amiable ditty about an elephant jazz musician being instructed on putting more soul into his music (he plays his own trunk like a horn). For being produced in such a short period, the art is lovely and rich, though this piece might have worked better as an animated short, with proper jazz accompaniment. All in all, this was an enjoyably light comic, and it's a pleasure to see Priddy continuing to stretch.

--Chris Allen

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