Monday, 2 July 2018

Stroper #1 - Stroper Store

STROPER No. 1, June 2018
Awarded “Comic of the Week” during June 2018 by “ComixCentral” - “The Hub For Indie Comics”, Issue One of “Stroper” undoubtedly relies far more upon its visual content than it does dialogue in order to tell the digital-only publication’s tale of Bo-ak 5 Prison miner Pak Booker, and resultantly, despite its twenty-six page length, could arguably therefore be viewed as a somewhat short reading experience. Yet such is Edward Porter’s attention to detail with his quirky, cartoonish story-boarding, that anyone in this book’s audience who doesn’t invest some additional time perusing the finer points of his computer-drawn imagery, such as blood vessels in the titular character’s eyes or the reflection of Krill eggs on his bubble-style astronaut’s helmet, will absolutely be missing a trick with this title.

Naturally for a narrative focusing almost solely upon a hunter’s “illegal harvest of alien wild life” though, there still needs to be some sort of hook with which to ensnare any bibliophile’s passing attention besides pretty artwork, and fortunately this adventure set “in the far future, [when] Mankind’s golden age of space exploration has ended” manages to provide one by depicting an expedition which is far from straightforward. Indeed, the inclusion of “a violent and invasive fungus that spreads from space rock to space rock” in the very vicinity of the stroper’s injured prey must genuinely have made some readers momentarily hold their breath just as soon as it becomes clear that any noise generated by the tracker will result in the carnivorous parasites instantly eating the main protagonist alive; “Sound sensitive. Vibration sensitive. One more misstep and I am a dead man.” 

This underlying threat also causes Booker to put down his long-range ray-gun and attempt to settle matters “the old fashioned way” with a long knife. Perhaps unsurprisingly however, the gigantic extra-terrestrial insectoid Pak ultimately faces isn’t going to be so easily dispatched and the ensuing pulse-pounding close combat quickly produces far more noise than the long-haired stalker’s rifle arguably ever would have. Certainly, the multi-legged alien’s shrill cries of pain as its limbs are brutally carved away from under it, causes thousands of the purple hatchlings to break free of their reproductive cells and helps establish a well-thought out cliff-hanger by subsequently stampeding towards the cave entrance where the a worn-out stroper has only just successfully finished fighting…

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Writer & Illustrator: Eddie Porter

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