Sometimes you just want to have fun reading comics. They don’t need to be Maus or Shakespeare. They can be filthy, clever romps and yarns that take place in the confines of a bar. Or hell. Whatever.

This comic puts a smile on my face.


The Book


Created and Written by Chuck Pineau

Illustrated by Gregory Woronchak

Created and Inked by Shaun Barbour

Letters by Scott Weldon

Edited by Wendy Gayle

Bonus Content Written by Max Battistella

Bonus Content Drawn by Donna Anita Black

Published by Bonfire Press

For the purposes of brevity, I’m only reviewing Issue one.

Belial starts in a hospital where a man looks to be in some kind of coma or death. The next thing you know, he’s led down the ferry into the entrance of hell. This human being really is that bad and is about to be subject to whips and chains in not so much fun way. I’m not going to think about exactly what they were doing, but this little scene made me laugh.

The story then begins in a bar. In the bar, Belial, the creator of hell, has been reduced to a bartender. Everything has hit a certain status quo. In short, hell is boring. Linc the Imp is the catalyst of the changes to Belial. Through a little barroom brawl, it creates the after life changing moment of Belial wanting to reclaim his rightful rule of hell.

In order to do it, Belial must first go through the four horsemen, restore his power, and then go head to head with Lucifer. And with Linc the only person that he can rely on, as nobody else wants to help him.

Easy right?

Belial decides to take on War, the first of the horseman. Can he get back to his old ways of power? Or will he want to do nothing more than crawl back to his bar?

Only time will tell on that one. I really dig the whole tone of the story. Pineau is shouldering the writing duties here, and his sense of humor is apparent right at the start. Whip jokes, mom jokes, dick jokes, all inappropriate jokes are on full display here. The tone feels fun if a touch devilish, as a book like this should be. Contrary to the plot, there isn’t a ton of action in the first issue. It’s a clever bit of storytelling and sleight of hand in most of it, and it’s all taking place in a bar.

Still, I have a few questions reading this. Why was the man in the hospital bed so important? There’s a small chance that this story is nothing but a dream to that man. I don’t think that’s quite the case, but I’m curious why that first scene is in there. To the rest, Pineau and Barbour have crafted a fun cast of dastardly devils to entertain the heck out of me.

As far as the art goes, Gregory Woronchak and Shaun Barbour are a heck of a one-two punch. The facials are incredible. Every face in this book tells a story. The illustration duo understands the importance of dynamic expression and it is everywhere in issue one. It’s the biggest reason the book pops the way it does.

The rest of the book reminds me of something Travis Hanson might draw if he was a little more demented and wanted to create something this filthy. Belial, for all its hellish trappings, is a book with a lot of heart. It’s a fun, engaging, entertaining read, and is exactly what comics should be all about. At the minute of reading this, Issue 3 is available on Kickstarter now. Click the link and bid if you are into this kind of thing. I promise it’ll be a fun read.


The Business

As of this writing, I’ve submitted to two publishers a bunch of graphic novel material. Most of it is for a written concept. I’m not sure either publisher will accept, but I’m optimistic. In the meantime, I’m working on more prose projects, and am hoping to announce some more stuff on that front soon.

Beyond that, I’m still doing some great podcasts. I’m about 135 episodes away from my 1000th episode. I can’t believe I’ve done that. I regularly go live on Twitch, but you can also listen to the episodes like the one below.

Finally, I do advertising. If you’re looking for video or audio advertising your book, your brand, or yourself, I can create that content and advertise it on my platforms. Click here if you want to know more.

Next week, I review another great comic. Rather, I finish a series I started last year. Can’t wait to review it. Until then, stay inspired.

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