- Series: Kaptara Tp (Book 1)
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Image Comics (January 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1632155575
- ISBN-13: 978-1632155573
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kaptara Volume 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien (Kaptara Tp) Paperback – January 5, 2016
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"Epic, exciting."--ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
"I wish I could look and act like a villain written and drawn by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod." -John Waters
"Holy ---- John Waters I love your work" -Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS)
"Chip Zdarsky has been charming the comics community with his art on Sex Criminals and his writing on Howard the Duck, not to mention his obsession with Applebee's, and his out-there, unpredictable personality is channeled into every page.... KAPTARA is an exciting and smart comic."--IGN
"There are no rules with Zdarsky's science-fiction fantasy KAPTARA ... a captivating, genre-bending narrative with lush, wildly imaginative visuals. It's a very different book than Howard the Duck, but the two titles share a cheeky wit that reads as distinctly Zdarsky, establishing a writing voice that is as strong and confident as his work as an artist."--LOS ANGELES TIMES/ HERO COMPLEX
"Kagan McLeod's work ... has something for everyone. His characters are spindly and Steve Ditko-esque but also very detailed.....From the very first page, he thrusts us into a world that we are sure is not our own and that we want to learn more about."--NEWSARAMA
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Top Customer Reviews
The book starts with a zig before it makes a huge zag. We open on a space cruiser headed somewhere. On board is Keith Kanga, a bored science officer, who spends the first few pages annoying the other crewmen and generally being a smartmouth pain. It looks like the book is going to be one of those long, tedious "crew conflict" dramas. Yecchh. But wait. The ship is pulled into a transdimensional/wormhole/anomaly thingy and everyone ejects in pods and lands on the unknown planet Kaptara. Some live, some die, some live for a while and then die. Again, nothing new and nothing to look at here, folks.
But then Keith is saved from a creature by a sword wielding boy scoutish he-man, and the whole book changes direction, tone, feel and mood. Kaptara is a seriously weird planet populated by seriously weird creatures and suddenly we're in the world of sci-fi comedy. It's sort of Scooby-Doo meets He-Man, meets Alice in Wonderland, in a brightly colored Dali-esque acid-trip world. NO SPOILERS HERE, but Keith drops his slacker wise-ass persona and ends up in a quest group that's part the gang from "Wizard of Oz" and part "Fellowship of the Ring". Briefly, we end up with a deadpan funny classic armored hero, a drinking buddy Lothario feckless prince, an old-fart wizard, and various other companions, (and a "motivational orb"). We encounter, fight, or befriend, (or all three), a wide variety of strange characters. There's a villain and some plots and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.
The humor runs from juvenile to stupid to witty and clever. Lots of F-bombs and some smirky sex jokes and some funny adult sex jokes. There are some amusing set pieces, and occasionally a really sharp throw-away bit of humor. It's just all over the place, and Keith, of all people, ends up being the bemused guy around whom it revolves and who sort of keeps it all together.
The weirdness is enhanced by the drawing, which is cartoony and intentionally over the top. No character gets two arms, when four would be better. Sometimes it looks like "Mad Magazine" and sometimes it looks like R. Crumb, and sometimes it looks like Disney on peyote. I saw this blurbed somewhere by John Waters, (who wrote and directed "Pink Flamingos"), and I sort of get the connection.
So, there you go. As I say, a sci-fi comedy that has its moments. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
It's easy to write off Kaptara as a simple parody, you'll see a big of the Smurfs, a bit of Lord of the Rings, a bit of Scooby Doo and a whole lot of He-Man in there. But there's more too it. The characters are surprisingly fleshed out, the heroes and villains become more than just one-off jokes. The plot takes a lot of abrupt turns, as characters who seemed important are cast off or sent away from the spotlight, while the humor characters become more serious. But it's hard to tell if that was by design or just a case of the creator trying to find his voice.
The art is cartoony but also has some really interesting visuals that reminded me of Brandon Graham's trippy King City or Prophet.
In the end this book suffers because it was obviously intended to last longer and just stops. But it's been over a year since an issue of the comic came out so it seems unlikely there will be a volume two. It's a bit of shame, but this book, while good, is not really something we can't live without.
The story mainly follows Keith Kanga who crash lands on Kaptara after travelling through a weird wormhole. He's not much of a fighter, and after losing his shipmates, it doesn't look to good for him on this hostile planet. Then he is rescued by a brave warrior wearing a helmet that looks like a duck's bill. He is Manton, and he runs in the company of Dartor who is Prince of Endom. They set out to stop the planet's main bad guy Skulltor and collect a strange collection of beings along the way, like a bulbous thing that displays phrases like "follow your dreams." The rest of the planet is just as weird as we soon find out.
It reminded me of the satire comics I read in the 1970s like Mad Magazine and Cracked. The weird science fictional stuff seemed right out of Philip Jose Farmer and something like his World of Tiers series. That's all to say that it's just the weirdest thing you are likely to read, but if you can let your inner 14 year old come out to play, you'll probably enjoy it as much as I did.
I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Diamond Book Distributors and Image Comics in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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