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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Comic Review: Dark Horse Digital: Husbands #1 and #2


Thanks to guest reviewer: Ellis Carrington

Writers: Brad Bell, Jane Espenson
Artist: Ron Chan
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Genres: Humor
Publication Date: October 24, 2012
Format: FC, 12 pages
The hit sitcom Husbands tells the story of famous gay newlyweds Brady and Cheeks, who sparked a media firestorm when they woke up legally wed after a drunken Vegas weekend. But undoing their "I Dos" with a quickie divorce would only undermine the hard-fought battle for equality, so they decide to give this marriage thing a go. After all, they were doing okay when they were dating . . .

Now, a mystical wedding gift launches the couple on a series of adventures— a tongue-in-cheek journey through iconic genre realms — filled with obstacles that threaten to tear them apart.

Written by Husbands creators Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Brad Bell, this comic-book continuation of the sitcom phenom sends Brady and Cheeks into a superhero showdown, a fairytale fantasy, a Holmesian mystery, an epic galactic battle, a madcap high school romp, and a saucy secret-spy thrill ride.

• Issue #1: A superhero adventure like no other!

• Based on the hit sitcom, Husbands!

• Written by show creators Jane Espenson and Brad Bell (AKA Cheeks)!


HUSBANDS #2: THE WELL-INTENTIONED-BUT-OBLIVIOUS PRINCE AND THE JUSTIFIABLY BELLIGERENT PEASANT OR EQUALLY EVER AFTER
Writers: Brad Bell, Jane Espenson
Artist: Natalie Nourigat
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Genres: Humor
Release date: 10/31/2012
Format: FC, 12 pages

The hit sitcom Husbands tells the story of famous gay newlyweds Brady and Cheeks, who sparked a media firestorm when they woke up legally wed after a drunken Vegas weekend. But undoing their "I Dos" with a quickie divorce would only undermine the hard-fought battle for equality, so they decide to give this marriage thing a go. After all, they were doing okay when they were dating . . .

Now, a mystical wedding gift launches the couple on a series of adventures— a tongue-in-cheek journey through iconic genre realms — filled with obstacles that threaten to tear them apart.

Written by Husbands creators Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Brad Bell, this comic-book continuation of the sitcom phenom sends Brady and Cheeks into a superhero showdown, a fairytale fantasy, a Holmesian mystery, an epic galactic battle, a madcap high school romp, and a saucy secret-spy thrill ride.

• Issue #2: A fantasy fairytale starring a prince, a knight, and a pauper!

• Based on the hit sitcom, Husbands!

• Written by show creators Jane Espenson and Brad Bell (AKA Cheeks)!


A good friend turned me on to the Husbands internet sit-com. I was instantly, irrevocably hooked. There’s an intelligent humor, a freshness, a romance in the show that I personally have not seen since the days of Mad About You. That it is produced in easy to consume, bite-sized segments doesn’t hurt at all. The whys and hows of a season three are still TBD for the web series as far as I know, but in the meantime there is Husbands the comic!

Dark Horse introduced Issue #1 in digital format on 10/24/2012, with plans to release six issues in total. It is also my understanding (per a direct tweet from Jane Espenson, God bless the social media age) that all six issues will be out in print early 2013.

Issue #1
Ron Chan’s art is fantastic. Drawn largely in conventional box panels with the some nontraditional technique thrown in for effect, the coloring is bright and the attention to facial detail make the characters—Cheeks in particular—easy to recognize from the web series. Chan’s style is clearly versatile, going from a little softer, dreamier in the beginning to sharper when setting and situation call for it. The realistically-drawn cover is immediately eye-catching: two well-dressed heroes kissing under an arc of flowers that vaguely resembles a wedding arbor with a cityscape in the background. It evokes a similar romantic feel to the Husbands show, particularly the lovely “Awww!” kind of way that season two left-off with the couple kissing in front of a city skyline.

The comic opens with Brady and Cheeks sorting through wedding gifts along with Cheeks’s bestest-bestie, when they are all mysteriously sucked into an alternate 1930’s universe where there is an asteroid hurtling toward Earth (of course there is). Next thing we know, Brady is a laser-enhanced-airplane flying hero, and along for the ride is Cheeks as Chet Deckfin, reporter... Or is he?

No surprise, the storytelling by Cheeks and Jane Espenson is witty, concise, and blends with the snazzy artwork and the stuff you don’t see between the panels just perfectly. In only twelve pages I had experienced the rise and fall of a mega-fast but fully evolved adventure, complete with satisfying “happy for now, until next time...” ending. And as a fan of the sit-com I loved seeing some symbolic tie-in near the end of the issue.

Issue #2
The second Husbands comic continues the adventures of Brady, Cheeks, and their BFF as they’re pulled from their previous dimension into the Dark Ages (shades of Quantum Leap meets The Princess Bride, but gayer...just me?). Natalie Nourigat’s cover art shows a cool, colorful comic-book time-warp and our heroes falling through it. You can imagine the flailing limbs and the “GAAAAAAAHS!” and everything. Nourigat’s art is clean and bold with a manga-style influence. Makes for great comedic effect.

Cheeks becomes Cheekston, a pauper locked away in a tower for rejecting the advances of the evil Prince Arden. Brady is Prince Kelly of the Holly Woodlands, who makes a misguided attempt at rescuing Cheekston when the guy had already been rescuing himself thank-you, and lands them both in even more trouble. But lo! Then the two must find a way together to get out of their mess! Cue the dramatic flute and dulcimer music…

I appreciated the tastefully-drawn nudity in this issue (winky face). That they are using different worlds, time-periods, and unique artists for each issue allows for playing with different tones and styles of writing. It works well for the series. This particular issue had great laugh out loud moments for me, from Cheekston snarking at the narrator and the well-placed prop over the naughty bits in the “naked panels,” to yet another tie-in to the web show near the end of the issue. Dork that I am, I felt very proud of myself for catching those references, so I don’t want to give them away... Read for yourself; let me know if you find them.

5 "delightfully funny" sheep



Guest Reviewer: Ellis Carrington

More information about the series and the comic can be found at LoveHusbands.com or on the GoCheeksGo YouTube Channel
And if you’re anxious for more Husbands, I hear you can help expand the audience and increase their potential for funding by nominating them for a Streamy.

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