NESFW – Not entirely safe for work, especially if you work with or near children. Expect bloody violence and the kind of language you tend to use in the car.
Back in February we gave you an early look at 21Pulp‘s Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming comic Hero Hourly, a look at the work-a-day lives of clock-punching heroes. Issue one released this September, and 21Pulp kindly sent us a copy so that we could have a look at what the donations of people like you have accomplished. Issue two is under way, so what has left them feeling so confident?
It’s an unimaginative world filled with unimaginative heroes living under an unimaginative management regime and facing unimaginative criminals. All in all it’s perfect. Everything that we were promised, the incredible made unremarkable and bland, and that’s exactly the narrative we follow in the beginning. Saul worked hard at college and took a menial job to get a reference so that he could make it big in business as soon as possible.
That’s when recession hits, and it hits everyone hard. Fortunately there’s good work for anyone willing to take a security gig wearing yellow spandex and a cape. Thanks to the miracle of modern science, a chemical has been made that can turn anyone into a superhero! And as any right-minded chemical engineer would with such a discovery he turned it into a lucrative business deal that mass-produces the world’s best private security officers.
Hero Hourly drops an element of fantasy into a very real world. One issue in and there’s already a range of unique and relatable characters that suffer all too familiar problems, and not just the food stealing room-mate. Aside from the criminal element and the daily disaster, Saul faces the terrible threat of new management and potential redundancy. House foreclosures are generating a new breed of tragic villain, ones without advanced degrees.
The writing style is just as gritty and real as the story, but you may have to keep a keen eye on the <parenthesis> that show Saul listening to what people have said to him with the hindsight of one who has realised that the whole world hates you.
The artwork is generally consistent, the only way to spot the odd anatomical anomaly is to actively hunt for them, but the important thing to observe is that no matter what a character is wearing they’re instantly recognizable and that’s no mean feat when your characters tend to switch from jeans and t-shirt to a generic uniform complete with mask and hood.
This three-issue run is still only ending up in the hands of Kickstarter backers, but I can comfortably recommend picking up a copy if you see it on shelves (or Amazon) if you’re looking for a different take on an over-done genre. Hero Hourly is a comic you can connect with, especially if you’ve worked somewhere you hated or felt like the world is against you no matter how hard you try to fight back.