Review: Bertie Bear And The Dagger Of A Thousand Souls
Bertie Bear; world famous monster hunter and adventurer, is contacted by the American FBI to hunt down the legendary Dagger of a Thousand Souls before an evil mob boss/dark wizard and a whole cult of vicious vampires can get their hands on it. Danger is assured especially as Bertie is familiar with some of the players! Will he take the job? Is he getting the full story? There’s only one way to find out!
Every once in a while you see a comic book cover and you just know that you have to read what’s inside. Never has that been truer than the moment I saw the cover to Bertie Bear and the Dagger of a Thousand Souls. The book recently hit Comixology’s Submit releases. Bertie is written, created, and drawn by Andy W. Clift. Jon Scrivens provides lettering, Rachel Barber is the script editor, and Matthew Rooke handles the colors on the cover. The crazy cover with a bear wearing an eye patch pulled me in, but is the story inside worth your attention?
The story opens in Madrid, 1935. Bertie the bear is tied to a chair doing an internal monologue about how bad his day is. He’s being held captive by The Rose, the leader of The Cult of Orlock. The cult members are vampires, because that’s just what tiny bear adventurers fight. Bertie gets himself loose and after an epic fight with two vampire goons, he finds that The Rose is gone. Flash forward to Canterbury, England in 1937. Bertie’s ‘meeting’ with his secretary is interrupted by an agent from the FBI. President Roosevelt has asked him to enlist the aid of Bertie to help retrieve a mystical dagger talked about in Mayan myth. There’s an evil man after it and he has some help from some of Bertie’s old enemies. This is the first of three issues, so of course he takes the case and heads off to investigate. Bertie boards a plane with the lovely special agent Evergreen, but it looks like turbulence will be the least of Bertie’s problems.
Andy Clift has written one of the craziest stories I’ve read in a long time. It’s completely original but if I had to describe it in terms of things you’d know, I’d have to say imagine Ted the bear with a dash of Indiana Jones and James Bond. It’s funny, it’s witty, and it’s actually a pretty good story without the added gags and absurdity that comes along with a stuffed bear as your protagonist. The art is good. It’s all black and white save for a few dashes of red for blood and The Rose’s dress. It’s used to great effect. It has a cinematic feel with the technique of having two similar panels forcing a focus shift from background to foreground.
Bottom Line: Bertie Bear is a crazy, funny, witty thrill ride that you absolutely must experience for yourself. It’s 99 cents. The purchase is a no brainer. There are two issues to go, and if they’re anything like the first issue this series may just be one of your new favorite comics 5/5