After only the briefest of waits, AHOY Comics is back and kicking off their new wave of books with Bronze Age Boogie. How would one describe Bronze Age Boogie? Fantasy? Sci-Fi? Nostalgic? Comical? Action? Well it’s a little bit of everything and then some. The story sees Brita Constantina, the brave warrior daughter of King Domnall Constantine, ripped from her fantasy timeline some 4000 years ago and sent into the groovy future of 1975. From fighting monsters and zombies controlled by wizards to dodging a Martian invasion during a disco dancing Saturday Night, Bronze Age Boogie looks to have it all.
AHOY always packs their comics, so what else is there? The first installment of Major URSA by Tyrone Finch and Mauricet’s sees a bear rocketed into space only to return with the ability to speak. Animal Control Incident Reports by Bryce Ingman with illustrations by Shawn Crystal tells the story of some “two foot long squirrels” and the problems they cause. AHOY favorite Kek-W ends the issue with his prose piece How to Beat Writers Block, which along with an illustration by Darick Robertson, is sure to aid any aspiring writer who picks up the book.
Stuart Moore’s previous AHOY book, Captain Ginger, was fairly “out there” as far as ideas go. Action sci-fi with cats is nothing compared to this, however. Bronze Age Boogie has talking monkeys, martians, zombies, wizards, nomadic tribesmen, a character called “Go-Go Golem” and plays everything straight. It’s downright bizarre and winks at readers as if to say “so what, keep up” as the plot rockets on at 100mph. With so much happening all at once, there is no way to predict what could happen next. There’s even a prose page halfway through the comic. This book has the promise of something special and it will be exciting to see where it goes.
Major URSA, the other graphic story, likewise shows a lot of promise but as an opening chapter doesn’t offer much more than an introduction to the characters. Both prose pieces are the issue’s standouts. Bryce Ingman’s story is alarmingly funny for its subject. The story is structured like a report which gives it a bit of a horror tone; this only adds to the humor. Continuing the comedy is Kek-W’s piece How to Beat Writers Block and it is a perfect example of why you should be reading AHOY books. It is incredibly funny with its use of deadpan humor. It’s insane to think this short story can be found at the end of a comic book like Bronze Age Boogie but that’s the fun of AHOY. You never know exactly what you’ll get — you just know it’ll be great.
As far as stories go, this one definitely requires a lot from the reader. There’s no doubt that Stuart Moore will take the book somewhere fascinating, but as far as introductory issues go there is so much here for readers to take in. While Tyrone Finch and Maurice ease readers in with their chapter of Major URSA, Moore just throws readers in at the deep end and hopes they can swim. Some people will really enjoy this style of story telling and swim laps round the pool. But some readers could use a life jacket to help them along.
Suddenly Stuart Moore’s cat space epic isn’t so weird anymore. Bronze Age Boogie is thrilling, if a little confusing. Rarely these days do opening issues offer readers so much content, but AHOY is here again to satisfy readers. One to pick up for those that like their comics weird.
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