JUST JOSHING: Badassical

Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Joshua Pantalleresco.  I write stuff and podcast too.  Today I make my debut here at First Comics News as a columnist for the website. I want to begin by thanking Rik for giving me the opportunity to do this.  But if I’m going to do a comic book column, I thought I’d do something a little different.


We all know that comics are stories.  What we don’t often look at is the story behind the stories. All creatives tell their story in their mediums. I truly believe that as I look at the works I’ve done in the past, and can recognize my own concerns and what I am myself going through as I tell my stories. Comics are no different. Creators in the industry have their own stories going on as they tell them. This column’s objective is to get to the story behind the story.


My first column features a book you may not be familiar with. Comics coming from Kickstarter are some of the better books on the market. This one is one of the most fun books I read whenever a new issue comes out.


I give you Badassical.




Publisher: Dapper Drone

Writer: John Fleming

Illustrator: Collette Turner

Colors: J. Skipper


Badassical is an intriguing concept.  Three characters, Kate, Susan, and Pandora are being filmed by cameras as they save the world on a regular basis. . You get a very interesting premise that immediately goes to distract you.  Kate is the first character you see in issue one who is going for the reconcilator is distracted by pigeons.  Susan is gun happy, and Pandora is confused.  There is just a touch of Charlie’s Angels in the whole premise that gives the first issue a real sense of fun.  Issue one, in particular, feels to me like a throwback to comics in the late issue.  Lots of action, characterization, and fun. Fleming does a really good job of establishing the characters, a sense of likeability and manages to mostly (but not completely) distract the reader from the little crumbs Turner and himself construct in the first issues.


This fun continues in issue two as the three protagonists battle a giant robot.  During this fight, it is revealed that all the characters are robots, which explains a lot of the characters disjointed sense of reality, and maybe their emphasis on things.  After the battle, Pandora runs into Ed, who had appeared in the first issue to explain what is going on.


Issue three takes a darker turn as Ed explains what exactly is going on to Pandora, who then gets attacked it becomes a vampire.  After that battle the antagonist reveals itself and things get very dark, very fast.  The story isn’t quite all fun and games anymore and the stakes are more apparent. While there are still a lot of unanswered questions that hopefully will have answers, and the same action that I have come to expect and love with the first three issues.


I talk a lot about the story and John Fleming’s part in the creativity.  Colette Turner is one of my favorite illustrators.  Watching her grow as an illustrator with each issue has been nothing short of incredible. Her pencils of the characters give them a kind of childlike glee with all they do, and yet there is a nice energy.  I really would kill to see Colette on Ms. Marvel or Squirrel Girl.  She’d do those characters justice.  Her giant robot was probably my favorite character, just based on all the little things she did to give the robot its personality. I’m not sure whose idea it was, but the execution was sheer genius.


Finally, J Skipper’s colors do a wonderful job of capturing the mood and balancing the fun and adventure of the series as well as the gravity of some of the situations that arise as the series progresses.


Behind the Story


I asked John Fleming where a series like this comes from and this is the answer he gave me: 展e [Collette Turner and I] used to a lot of long car drives (still do sometimes) and Collette and I would discuss some philosophy, some dumb shit, and the book kinda came out of those talks.・





All in all, Badassical is an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone.  Check it out whenever it comes to Kickstarter.  It is the kind of book that comics should strive to be – fun, engaging and deep thinking.  Check this book out whenever it comes to Kickstarter.


The Business


This week on the podcast, I celebrated my two hundredth episode.  Episode two hundred and one features Benoit Chartier and discussing his latest Kickstarter project.  Check out Just Joshing on Itunes and other players.

That will do it.  Tune in next time when I talk about another comic you should be reading and the story behind its story.

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