Graduating from the backup pages of High Heaven and Captain Ginger comes Hashtag: Danger, the newest series from AHOY Comics. This new extended Hashtag: Danger story gives us readers more time with the characters: Einstein Armstrong, Sugar Rae Huang and Desiree Danger. As is always the case with AHOY, there’s more to this book than just the main story. Offering the first backup this month is Planet of the Nerds writer Paul Constant as he collaborates Fred Harper on “Snelson,” a laughably bleak story to contrast with the light-hearted tone of #Danger. Mark Russell, writer of the upcoming Second Coming as well as a slew of stories for Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Terror, pens the short story “Notes on the Successful Completion of a Homunculus” for which Alan Robinson provides an illustration. Gunnar De Winter closes the issue with “Chez Sirius” featuring illustrations by Charlie Sam. As is always the case, AHOY has variety on offer.
What’s not to love? Hashtag: Danger was great as a backup story in the pages of High Heaven and Captain Ginger, but the question was whether that tone would work with a jump in page count. Of course the question has an obvious answer when creators Tom Peyer and Chris Giarrusso are still on board. This is one of the best #Danger stories, but the higher page count helps. The tone remains intact thanks to the chapter structure which helps keep the feel of the original stories. The additional pages also have the added benefit of featuring more Chris Giarrusso artwork.
If readers have ever read a #Danger story as a backup then they will know what to expect here as it is more of the same. This sounds like a negative but truly it’s meant as a positive, more Hashtag: Danger is always welcome.
The Constant and Harper story “Snelson” is strikingly different in tone. For a short comic it manages to really have readers questioning who they are at the same time it has them laughing. Paul Constant has been proving himself as a comics writer recently and this story really emphasises his talent. It’s not often that a story manages to be funny and depressing at the same time. On top of this, the artwork of Fred Harper is interesting in what is essentially a comic about two people having a conversation. Harper uses angles not often seen in comics or even television to give some life to the two characters.
The Mark Russell story is exactly what readers should expect: great. It’s feels very distinct from his comics work but tonally it’s not far from what he has delivered within the pages of Poe’s Snifter of Terror. The closing story Chez Sirius offers some laughs with more to read between the lines as the story goes on.
As far as opening issues go this is pretty spectacular. It’s the first time that AHOY have been able to release a series with established characters. Granted not everyone may have picked up an issue with Hashtag: Danger included.
“The Bad” isn’t the best subheading, “The Ok” would be a better one. The closing stories by Mark Russell and Gunnar De Winter are far from bad, they’re just ok. But this may be because they’re following the fantastic Hashtag: Danger story and “Snelson.” Having said that, the negative that the end isn’t as good as the beginning is one of the better negatives to have.
AHOY are hitting it out of the park again with another fantastic book. Those that have read an issue of High Heaven or Captain Ginger may be inclined to pick this book up but anyone should go out their way to read this issue. Doesn’t matter if you read comics or short stories, this book is for you.
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