Imagine if Obelix had won the lottery and gone on to create his own monarchy and statehood and you get the slightest of ideas as to what The Ludocrats is all about. And even that is selling it short. Writing partners, Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol along with artist Jeff Stokely, colorist Tamra Bonvillain and letterer Clayton Clowes return with this second sophomore issue of this bonkers book that revels in both its buffoonery and linguistic pomposity to create a funny book that’s heavy on the ‘funny’.
Baron Otto Von Subertan awakens in a state of undress only to have pretty much forgotten what has come before. In this he may well be unintentionally voicing the concerns of readers after a dry spell of comic books courtesy of the current coronavirus pandemic, but its not too long before his memory is jogged by the brains of this outfit, Professor Hades, and he sets off on a mission of salvation and revenge. Or rather he allows Professor Hades to do all the planning, and the Baron to carry out the spade work as he aims to win back the Steam-Judge Lady Grattinia.
Along the way we are treated to some of the creative team’s imaginative creations, such as the magnificently realised giant grub, the gigantipedic spermatozoic lepidopterapede, or cloud caterpillar to you and me. A creature that eventually matures to become a fairy tale castle, with a rather novel line in self-defense weaponry that I’ll leave you to discover for yourselves should you pick up this book. It’s all gloriously gross. This is a comic book designed to offer up to readers the most ridiculously remarkable comic book creations, and this issue continues to build on the world we’ve clearly only just touched up in the first issue. This cloud caterpillar may well be their ultimate destination in this issue, but we get a colorful cast of characters along the way.
Of course, as we all know, a good situation comedy’s central situation will only get worse before it gets batter and so it the case here. Although, tp find out more you will need to buy a copy, as we try to avoid major spoilers, especially when reviewing a comic book in advance.
Alongside the comic capers of Von Subertan and co, we also get a Von Subertan family tree as well as an encyclopaedia standard look at the aforementioned cloud caterpillar of this issue. Knowing Gillen, the RPG can[t be too far behind either, but it’s another reminder of the great depths Gillen goes to when developing a book. It certainly adds to the book, in my opinion, and gives that something extra back to readers too.
When reading this comic, you really do get the feeling the whole team are having a laugh-riot on this book, cooking up more and more ridiculous characters, situations and storylines. Bonvillain’s colors scream of Saturday morning cartoons and the kind of mad cap technicolored worlds of H R Pufnstuf, The Banana Splits and so forth. It’s an anything-can-happen kind of world-building going on here, and the kind which appeals greatly to me. A world where the usual rules don’t always apply, with genre-bending the norma and a gloriously goofy read as a result. Readers won’t be coming here to get a weighty thesis on the meaning of life, the universe and everything, but you may want to give this one a go as a great antidote to the realties of our own world and escape to for a moment or two to the ludicrously loopy land of the Ludocrats.
The Ludocrats #2 is available Wednesday 17th June from Image Comics.