Archive for Greg Pak

Comics for Rockin’ Out!

Okay, let’s get another review done! It’s part comic book, part children’s book, part musical tribute, and 100% fun — it’s The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton, Greg Pak, and Takeshi Miyazawa!

Mayhap you are familiar with Jonathan Coulton, the Internet’s favorite musician, yes? And mayhap you are familiar with his wonderful song, “The Princess Who Saved Herself”? If not, here ’tis:

It’s fun and jaunty! Hit the replay button, memorize the words, sing it all day long!

So writer Greg Pak and illustrator Takeshi Miyazawa decided they wanted to adapt the song as a comic/kids book. But they did something fun with it — rather than being just a straight adaptation of Coulton’s song, we get a bit of an expansion.

Where the original focused on the dragon and the witch, this one gives us a few more complications, including a giant bee, a plague of darkness, and an unexpected fire — as well as a new motivation for the queen, a new resolution for the whole thing, and a truly wonderful name for the princess.

No, y’all, I ain’t offering no further spoilers. This thing is only about 30 pages — the perfect length for a great mid-afternoon read for younger kids — and you should get all the enjoyment you can outta this thing.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s frickin’ delightful, people.

The story gives you a nice jolt of familiarity, especially if you know and love Coulton’s song. And the rewritten and expanded tale also gives you some great surprises, too. Pak has tons of fun with the rhymes here.

Miyazawa’s art is lots of fun, too. It’s wonderfully appealing and charismatic, with metric tons of personality, emotion, and action. And it has lots of cute jokes and details hidden away so you can have fun re-reading it over and over. It really is a perfect combination of writing with art.

Also, props to colorist Jessica Kholinne, who helps make everything pop beautifully.

What else can I say, guys? It’s frickin’ delightful. If you’re a fan of Coulton’s music, if you love fun comics, if you’ve got kids who need this fun and inspiring story, you should go pick it up!

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Code Monkey Like You, You Like Code Monkey


Code Monkey Save World

So there’s these two dudes, Greg Pak and Jonathan Coulton. Pak is a comic book writer, and he’s written awesome stuff like Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, Hercules, and lots of other stuff. Coulton is basically the Internet’s Favorite Musician, and he written lots of cool, geeky, tuneful songs, like “Re: Your Brains,” “Skullcrusher Mountain,” “Code Monkey,” “Still Alive,” and tons more. And a while back, Pak mentioned to Coulton on Twitter that he could probably write a comic book filled with the characters from Coulton’s songs. Coulton said go for it, and Kickstarter said yes, please, here’s some money, and here we are now.

So basically, we’ve got Charles, the lovestruck Code Monkey. We’ve got the robot invasion forces of Chiron Beta Prime, who kidnap Charles’ love interest Matilde. We’ve got sad-sack supervillain Skullcrusher, driven by jealousy and unrequited love. We’ve got Jorgensen, a champion curler who works for the government. We’ve got Villainy Affiliated, LLC — Zombie Bob, Creepy Doll, and Architeuthis, the giant squid. Can Charles save Matilde? Will Earth fall to Chiron Beta Prime? Can anyone stop the zombie apocalypse?

Verdict: Thumbs up. For a story based around a bunch of fairly goofy sci-fi songs, the plot holds together very well. It’s basically about a couple of guys in love with women who are hopelessly out of their league — and it’s about a couple women learning they’re good enough to take on the world and win.

The characters are insanely fun, at least partly because they’re so wonderfully created. The personalities and characterization are really strong and in many cases, actually end up being pretty consistent with Coulton’s songs, too. Not in all cases — Skullcrusher is less competent, and his love Laura is the exact opposite of a damsel in distress — but the story is a lot more fun this way.

And big ups to the third major creator in this musical comic cake (It’s so delicious and moist), Takeshi Miyazawa, whose artwork is the perfect blend of funny cartoons, action adventure, and emotional heart-tugging.

This is available digitally or you can try to find the print collection — which may mostly be available for Kickstarter backers, but ya never know. Maybe it’ll be available in stores in the future soon.

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