[Full disclosure: Matt Taylor is one of my fellow seekers of the Holy Grail from Comic Camp in Florida last year. Luckily however I have taken the Book Reviewer’s Oath of Utter Sincerity, and therefore, you have my personal guarantee there is no plámás, flattery or buttering up whatsoever in the following.
(Of course, it does help that he is bit of a bright spark at this sort of thing.)]
Drawn in a fantastically energetic style in black ink on white paper, characters cartooned to the nth degree, Lars The Last Viking Goes To The End of the World leaps off the page at you, fastens its big sausagey fingers around your neck and breathes beery fumes in your face; it’s a confident, witty, goodhearted read – well produced, too. Nice blacks, Matt! The story proceeds at a rollicking pace, pushed along by the rhyme, crackling with energy. It’s full of wisecracks at modern culture. [See picture].
In some sense it’s a story about growing up, it’s about extinction, about the end of an era, the end of a carefree time where all you had to worry about was partying with your friends. And at its heart there is something of a philosophy, ever so subtly hinted at: as Lars, our marauding hero, comes of age, he chooses to live for a humble cause, rather than dying for a noble one. I can’t imagine Matt going in too much for a moral, but if he did, it’d be all about living at 100%, whatever it is you choose to do, sparing nothing, and (best Australian accent here please) “destroyin’ it.”
I hope I have that right, Matt. It was a pleasure meeting you.