It’s a little known fact that I am a sucker for books with talking animals in them. And if you just so happen to add invading aliens it’s a sure bet that book will end up in my hands. Wild’s End also came highly recommended, so how could I not give this a shot?
Abnett and Culbard introduce a pair of very inebriated friends out for a nightly stroll, when they see an object fall from the sky. After it crashes not too far from them, Fawkesie decides to run off and investigate. Thus proving that drunk decision making isn’t always the best thing to do. From here we’re taken into town and meet several more townspeople, but it’s the new resident, Clive Slipaway (cool last name), that everyone is interested in. He’s also the only one that actually believes Fawkesie when he comes shouting into town about what was found the previous night, while everyone else just discounts it as yet another drunken tirade of his. Though it might be too late, since it seems as if someone’s bacon has already been cooked!
There is something familiar yet different about what Abnett and Culbard are doing in Wild’s End, but it all adds up to a worthwhile first issue. The character building is pretty fast, but it’s very effective while the dialogue itself is sharp and fun. You get a firm sense of who everyone is, and even though Slipaway (again, very cool last name) is the only “mysterious” character there’s just enough info about him to get the story moving and keep things interesting.
Culbard’s visual story building here is very good, and he pulls the emotions needed from the animal characters to reinforce the narrative. Something I think would be more difficult as opposed to drawing a human character. It’s a pretty vibrant looking story, but not so colorful that it distracts from the tone. Everything else about his work in this issue is solid, depicting the world around and inside of the town of Lower Crowchurch. He makes sure to keep you immersed until the very last page, which is a 1930s era newspaper from the town.
Wild’s End is just getting started and is certainly worth reading, because even though it may look like a light-hearted animated tale, there’s a dark side that can’t be ignored. Abnett isn’t shy in letting us know that these aliens aren’t here for a casual visit. So do yourself a favor and pick up Wild’s End!