BIG BOX APOCALYPSE GN
by Kristopher Waddell and Tom Szyc feat. Naomi VonKreeps
Written by Kristopher Waddell
Illustrated by Tom Szyc
Lettered by Dominic Bercier
In a town that has a higher than normal ratio of supernatural creatures, Kristopher Waddell and Tom Szyc tell us a charming tale of a small store for the occult and its battle against its larger competitor, with plenty of humour and character moments thrown in.
The one word that I would use to describe this book is fun, Waddell brings together a cast of characters that are insanely likeable and that ones that any reader will warm too. Even though this is a book staring many different supernatural creatures such as werewolves, zombies and witches it is not a horror book, everything is presented to the reader with a light-hearted sense that makes the book accessible to anyone. The story is paced really well, never once getting bogged down in exposition, instead allowing the reader to spend some time with these characters in this world have some laughs, share in their triumphs and despair and move on. Waddell does not write the most profound comic you’ve ever read (there are some undertones of small “local” stores vs the big retailer chains commentary, but this serves to further the story) instead focusing on giving the reader a well-crafted story, there are plenty of times in this book when you laugh, groan and roll your eyes with the humour and the fitting character moments that tie it all together have a great emotional impact.
Szyc’s art really fits this book well, each character looks more akin to what a professional caricaturist would draw instead of what you would see in a normal comic however, this really adds to the overall aesthetic of the book. With this style each character is highly expressive, you can instantly recognise when someone is angry, sad, frustrated or upset. Whilst it does take some getting used to, when combined with Waddell’s witty script and generally light hearted approach to the story everything blends together into a very fitting cartoon style adventure. Having this book in black and white instead of full colour again really fits in with the style allowing you to focus on the characters and Szyc’s really detailed pencils whilst also giving it a very hammer horror vibe considering the creatures involved.
Big Box Apocalypse, as I said before, is a fun book. As something to put your feet up and read it is perfect, you are not bogged down in a grand universe spanning continuity and through the lack of exposition this books shies away from that instead telling a really fun self-contained story that is very aware of itself and what it is trying to do. If you want a light-hearted read to take you away from the world for a few hours this is book for you, it gives you some laughs, tells a great little tale and never once out stays its welcome.
By Matt Deery