ATG Comic Review: Friendo

Welcome back everyone we have a ton of new comics I want to try to get to.I still have the extra three from last week and I have a few from this week too that I desperately want to talk about but by god is my schedule PACKED. Last weekend we had a wedding…this weekend we have packing for next weekend’s Necronomicon convention down in Tampa as well as a Sleep Study doctors appointment on Friday, so as you can see between all of this…hopefully getting my wheelchair soon (delayed by hurricane Michael) and getting kiddo to school when he has to be… by god this month is gonna be busy….AND we STILL have last months WXW I want to get to! PHEW!

So this week we only have one regular book from the comic shops and this week it comes from our friends at Bearded Browncoats. There’s a ton of things upcoming for their shops so be sure to hit the Facebook page for each, drop them a like and check out their events….remember we are rapidly approaching Halloween ComicFest! Check out the facebook pages for both locations in Ocala and Gainesville, Florida by clicking the buttons below or check them out in person at the addresses listed on their banner above!

This week we have a hard to describe comic called Friendo. It is from Vault Comics and it can best be described as a bit odd. Its kinda an introduction story for the character that I assume is going to be fleshed out more later but it kinda skips around a lot. I have to admit, I found out more about the main character by reading the blurb on the back of the comic than I did in reading the comic itself and since I never read that till the next day I’m sure you can tell how confused I must have been.

It starts with the main character as a kid wanting to buy an action figure. Seems he had been doing chores for neighbors but when he asks his dad the dad takes all his money and starts hitting and strangling the kid. The way they are phrasing things in this it sounds like it was due to a religious belief however thankfully for the kid someone from child services was passing by and saved him from the abuse.

But is this flashback and real or just some twisted hallucination? We don’t get to know because the next part shows our main character all grown up and in a car wreck saying he had seen heaven this time as he is pulled from the car. Seems he may be in a movie similar to fast and the furious and is doing a promo, however, it seems the seat belts may not have worked right and it looks like the girl that was in the car with him when it was crashed might be dead? As he hobbles away being carried by who I am assuming is a friend from work he calls out to the cameras going off to see the movie.

Jump forward to a still bruised him that night being ridden in bed by a lovely woman as he watches TV and she tries to make love to him. The crash is not on the nightly news so he throws a little fit ruining the moment because supposedly if their stunts don’t get on the news then they don’t get paid, this seems to be a theme for the comic the whole not getting paid. The girl gives him a present of these high tech glasses that are supposed to have like an AR friend in them and he chooses the free version which I assume will run ads for him. While she goes to shower he boots up the glasses and answers a few odd questions with some interesting answers and his “friend” is created and he claims it sounds just like his college roommate who was a bad influence on him.

Our “hero?” then goes out to try and make some money. It seems he also has a job at some sort of strip club. He’s seen getting into makeup as he and a few others are dressing up like barely dressed characters from Wizard of Oz and he is the tin man. They go out and dance but there is a fire too close to them out in California and so the smoke is driving customers away and the homeless in and so they get tossed out without pay…again.

In order to find their way to a nearby friends house of one of the other dancers. Visibility is nil so our main guy Leo gets the idea to put on his nifty new high tech glasses and ask it if it has GPS and to lead them to this friends place. As they walk along everyone seems to get separated somehow and Leo ends up alone until he finds some old man who says a random saying that makes Leo say “dad?” The guy then tries to mug Leo and Leo runs even though the guy tells him not to after flashing a huge knife. The old man catches up to Leo and stabs him taking the wallet. The virtual friend is totally freaking out when the still bleeding body of Leo gets hit with a downed electric line electrocuting him and that’s where it ends.

So Ummm yeah…the artwork was kinda odd not to my liking really. And you can see by my description here that the story kinda leaves a lot to be desired. The back of the book however reads:

“Leo wasn’t allowed toys as a kid. But now he’s all grown up and he’s going to take yours. He used to play by the rules but then governments and corporations set fire to the rules and still expected him to behave. He probably would have if it hadn’t been for his new friend Jerry. See. Jerry isn’t human. He’s a personalized marketing VR…and he’s malfunctioning.”

So not only do you learn more about Leo in this one little paragraph but you also learn more about the whole VR/AR thing going on with the glasses and a lot more about the actual storyline of the series than what could have ever been gleaned from the book itself. From the book, I got that Leo was a down and out actor, strip club dancer who had a bad childhood and maybe was in foster homes depending on what his rescuer that one day did. I never would have pegged him for some rebel out against the machine and all that. With how little the glasses are in the book all I got was it was a marketing tool that was odd. I never would have guessed malfunctioning until the end when the GPS wasn’t seeming to match up in the smoky streets but then again that could have been human error due to the smoke. Of course with the huge electric shock cliffhanger ending (personally I think the kid is fried or bled out not alive but hey I don’t write the things) it is possible the electric shock through Leos system while wearing the glasses causes the malfunction and then you start seeing that and the more rebellious stuff in the next issue. Personally just reading this comic didn’t catch my attention enough to care to see whether Leo is alive or dead in fact I just kinda wrote him off as dead in my mind and said “well that was a fast SL” and was content to leave it at that. Even gaining the new insight from the back cover made me shrug and say “sucks this wasn’t in it” and just put it aside.

Would this catch your attention enough to read?

Does this make you want to steer clear of it or does the back cover blurb make you want to pick up a copy and see what happens? Remember to let us know below what you think and if you like our stuff please consider supporting us by heading to Ko-fi.com/Thalra and dropping us a tip. All tips will go to making the site bigger and better and bringing new things for us to review from comics, to magic tricks, to toys and games.

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