Two Tickets for the Apocalypse Please: Should You Be Reading ‘Back’?
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there’s so much to choose from that it’s sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.
Back is a supernatural/western webcomic by Anthony Clark of Nedroid Picture Diary and KC Green of Gunshow. Together, these cartoonists have created an eerie world with a lot of secrets and unanswered questions.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
It all begins when a girl named Abigail is resurrected by a group of witches and told that she is destined to bring about the end of the world. Having no memory of who she used to be, she accepts that this is her purpose and begins her journey. The witches tell her that she must go north to the Kingdom of Goodness, but provide no further assistance or instruction. When the witches call ahead to the king with the cryptic message “she wasn’t buried deep enough,” their true motives are immediately called into question.
As Abigail travels through cities like Krud and Cripes, she meets many of the king’s minions and witnesses how they take advantage of the townspeople. In the first chapter she meets Daniel, a young druid from Krud who is tired of watching his people suffer at the hands of King Dang’s lackeys. Though Abigail claims to be indifferent to Daniel’s plight, he convinces her to help him challenge the king.
WHO’S IT BY?
Back is written by KC Green, who is known for his other webcomics Gunshow, Pinocchio, and He Is a Good Boy. He has also worked on Kaboom’s Regular Show comic, and has an upcoming graphic novel from Oni Press called Graveyard Quest.
The familiar bold lines and bright colors found in the comics of both Green and Clark's work are present in Back, but with added depth. Both Gunshow and Nedroid feature recurring characters but little ongoing plot, which is what sets this comic apart. Each page is laid out much the way you would find in a print comic, with two comic pages on each webpage.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Clark and Green both bring their offbeat senses of humor to their collaboration. Full of puns, sight gags, and self-referential jokes, Back is as much dark comedy as it is adventure. The unlikely partnership of Abigail, the literal emotionless zombie, and Daniel, who just wants to help people, makes their situation all the more absurd. But their bickering only makes us love them more, and further develops the characters that we know so little about.
Back has an espionage element as well, as we discover that there are other forces moving against the king, and that Princess Darn has motives of her own. How far back does this conspiracy go? What does it mean for our heroes and the impending doom of the world? Only time will tell.
WHO SHOULD READ IT?
As much as I love this comic, it’s probably not for everyone. Some may find its humor juvenile or outlandish. But if you enjoy spies, mystery, witchcraft, or angry clowns, then this comic is for you.
WHERE CAN I READ IT?
Back updates with two new pages every Wednesday. It is free to read online, but fans will be happy to know that there are plans to release a physical book sometime in the future.