Tuesday, March 18, 2014


If Vexxarr had a soundtrack, it would be a repeating game-show "wrong answer" buzzer. It was the third example I had in mind when addressing comic-book space operas a few months ago (also the only one still ongoing) and while Buck Godot was a measured exercise in dramatic escalation featuring light comic relief and Spacetrawler an even mix of drama and comedy, Vexxarr is almost entirely farcical, centered on a main character who maintains a bitterly derisive attitude toward the various galactic crises in which he finds himself embroiled. 

Its various other features don't really stand out. They're developed just enough to serve parody. Instead of full-page installments it follows a standard four-panel, gag-a-day format. Instead of convoluted character development it presents of a larger variety of simpler, more plot-friendly but more shallow props. Aside from its Trek-ish feel, it is in fact more comparable to Narbonic, jumping from one interesting SciFi notion to another, from silicoid ecosystems to cloaking devices to fabricated slave races.

One of this strip's quainter quirks is the source of inspiration for its body and ship plans. Remember when you used to pick up household items as a kid and run around the house with them going "zoom-zoom" and "pew-pew" pretending they were spaceships? Vexxar's author tends to do just that with common office objects. Everything from a rubber stamp to a desk lamp to a stapler to a chess pawn seems to have served as inspiration for either aliens or their spaceships. Sometimes half the fun is just figuring out what he was absentmindedly fiddling with when thinking up a new design.

This results in a steady stream of novel visual gags in addition to the verbal derision, and the strip has remained funny throughout. In fact if it has any flaw it's that the plot can drag a bit in the middle of storylines as more and more four-panel strips are added to serve apt (though somewhat repetitive) one-panel punchlines.

No comments:

Post a Comment