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Tales To Admonish #3

Review by Paul Bowler

Tales To Admonish #3 is the latest issue of the noir adventure series by Australian writer Andrez Bergen (Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? & prequel comic book series Bullet Gal) and artist Matt Kyme (That Bullet Proof Kid) and will be available in print form and digitally on August 17th 2014 from IF? Commix.

This third issue from Tokyo based author Bergen and his fellow Melbournian, artist Matt Kyme, is their most innovative and stylish issue to date. Tales to Admonish draws on many influences, predominantly from the Silver Age of comic books, to splice its rich blend pulp adventure and noir inspired visuals with a knowing twist of black humour.

Tales To Admonish #3 Cover

Tales to Admonish #3 features two very different stories. Hell’s Angels showcases the WWI ace pilot, “Wilks” Wilkinson, is a Biggles-style adventure set high in the skies above the North Sea where Wilks has a surprise run in with the goddess Britannia, and accidentally shoots at her before crashing his Sopwith Pup into the back of an enemy zeppelin. With his aircraft now embedded in the side of the zeppelin, one very angry goddess clinging to his planes landing gear, and the German’s shooting at him as the zeppelin rapidly loses altitude, our fearless hero must find a way out of his perilous predicament.

This Wilks Wilkinson tale is derived from The Condimental Op (Andrez Bergen’s collection of short stories, involving comic books and articles about music, movies, and Japan) and this faithful adaptation makes a seamless transition into the world of Tales to Admonsh. Hell’s Angels is a great story, the dialogue is sharp and witty, and it’s sure to keep you guessing right up until the surprise ending

The second story features the return of Roy Scherer and Suzie Miller, who also featured in the first two issue of Tales To Admonish. Hock, Flock, and Two Choking Carols, sees this darkly comic duo and their paranormal investigations uncover a gruesome skeletal corpse – who also turns out to be their client. Matters are complicated further when they find a bizarre alien device near the dissolving remains.

Roy and Suzie are like chalk and cheese, they are also popular characters from The Condimental Op, and this decidedly odd couple make a terrific team. Roy is tough private investigator, while Suzie is the enthusiastic geek of the partnership. The banter between the two of them is really funny, with Rory more concerned about not getting paid now their client is dead, while Suzie is more fascinated by the alien technology. Hock, Flock, and Two Choking Carols may be a little on the short side, but it’s a punchy little tale, and as ever where Roy Scherer and Suzie Miller are concerned, there is a fittingly neat twist that resolves the case.

This issue of Tales to Admonish is rounded off with brilliant piece from Sly, editor-in-chief, as he waxes lyrical about: “The Lamest Comic Book Villain Ever.” It serves as a perfect complement to his profile about Greatest Heroes from last months issue, and there are some equally fun references and anecdotes here as well.

Matt Kyme’s art is excellent throughout, both stories have their own distinct style, and Kyme perfectly captures the tong-in-cheek tone that makes Tales To Admonish such a great Aussie iNDie comic book. I really like how Matt Kyme’s art manages to convey the characters emotions and expressions, the page layouts are really well structured, and every humorous line of dialogue is pitched just right.

As a series, Tales To Admonish is a terrific homage to the 1960’s era of comics, with Bergan and Kyme ensuring there is just enough contemporary swagger to make every story shine. The Silver Age themes are carried through to the Dejavu at the Neon Bullpen letters section, and there are notes and galleries featuring Bergen’s and Kyme’s many IF? Commix titles to enjoy as well. The 32-page Tales To Admonish #3 comic will be published in print in Australia – launching on August 17th in Melbourne, with two striking covers by Andrez Bergen, and people can start ordering the physical edition internationally ($5, with no postage charge) or digital ($1) from that date, via the IF? Commix website from the link here. http://iffybizness.weebly.com