[Comic Book Review] ‘The Ludocrats’ TPB from Image Comics

PopCultHQ received a review copy of the trade paperback of THE LUDOCRATS from Image Comics. Available Wednesday, November 18th, the creative team for this series features writing from Kieron Gillen & Jim Rossignol, art from Jeff Stokely, colors from Tamra Bonvillain, and letters from Clayton Cowles.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

THE LUDOCRATS TPB

Writers: Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Cover Artist: Jeff Stokely

In Shops: Nov 18, 2020

COLLECTS THE LUDOCRATS #1-5.

The Ludocrats! The aristocrats of ludicrous! Defending reality from the encroaching forces of boredom while having a nice time. KIERON GILLEN (DIE, THE WICKED + THE DIVINE) and JIM ROSSIGNOL (Sir, You Are Being Hunted) write! JEFF STOKELY (The Spire) draws! TAMRA BONVILLAIN (Once & Future) colors! CLAYTON COWLES (Every excellent comic) letters! The universe screams in pleasure, writhing, finally satisfied, complete, joyous!


PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review: THE LUDOCRATS TPB

There are many people in our world that are silly, outrageous, or just downright fantastically funny, yet logic and reason rule the reign supreme. Now it’s time to journey into a world where the inane and insane are commonplace. Where a society of people act so utterly mad, that there is only one word for them – Ludicrous. Welcome to the world of…The Ludocrats! 

Writing: Kieron and Jim’s writing is utterly brilliant. The world building and character development these two have achieved is witty, hilarious, and kooky. Sadly, it comes at a cost – the cost of leaving this reviewer puzzled and mentally worn.  For a comic built around the premise of nonsense over sense, there is something that is lacking throughout this madcap romp. That something is clear indicators within the story and dialogue of what is actually going on. While this may be something structurally that appeals to many readers, to some it may very well be a deterrent. There is brilliance at the core of the writing, but it is difficult to tease out and identify. 

Art: Jeff Stokely has nailed it artistically for The Ludocrats. His bold usage of zany shapes plays beautifully with the bizarre nature of the comic. Especially with things like hairstyles, facial features/expressions and also locations. Everything about the interior art screams crazy and over-the-top. There is a serious homage to the animated visual gags that permeated throughout Monty Python’s Flying Circus; some that are obvious, while others are more subtle and hidden.  The layouts are easy to follow and flow perfectly from page to page. In short, Jeff’s art is perfect for The Ludocrats.

Colors: In a comic that is built upon the premise of over-the-top story and art, the color choices that accompany it have to enhance and magnify the series as a whole. Tamra Bonvillain does this in spades. The color palette she has utilized is a mix of all things bright and garish. Whether it is the clothing and physical forms for the different members of the Ludocracy, or the over-the-top and gory fight sequences, nothing is lacking color-wise within this TPB. All thanks to the Tamra and her gift of finding the right colors that go hand-in-hand with the script and artwork. 

Letters: Clayton Cowles is a name known and respected throughout comics both professionally and by fans. His gift of lettering has made him one of the best in the industry. Plying his talent to the zany tale of The Ludocrats is a treat to be sure. Character dialogue, sounds, all of it is brought further to life because of Clayton. Fans of his work as a letterer will love what he does in the collected edition and laugh out loud when they see the sort of crazy action-loaded pages he tackles. There is a distinct magic to the art of letters and Clayton Cowles is a master magician of the form. 

The Ludocrats is something no fan should pass up. Art, colors, and letters – all are fantastic to see and behold. The only fly in the ointment is Kieron and Jim’s plot. It made no sense to this reviewer and while that is normally a nail in the coffin, there is light at the end of this crazy tunnel. A light that is the visual spectacle that kept the energy high even when the plot and wording threatened to bring things low. So take a chance and dare to traverse a world of the unknown, epic, and insane. 

PopCultHQ Rating - 4.5 Stars

4.5 out of 5 stars


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Writer – Kieron Gillen

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Writer – Jim Rossignol

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Artist – Jeff Stokely

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Colorist – Tamra Bonvillain

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Letterer – Clayton Cowles

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Publisher – Image Comics

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