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Now Available: The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit Vol. 6!

Brutal Blade Vol. 6 is live and on the air! With this book, we reach the midpoint of the Bruno the Bandit archives, and also reach a turni...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Brutal Best of Bruno the Bandit: Day 13

Lucky 13!
This time around, we see the genesis of another recurring idea in Bruno the Bandit...the magic spell.  While at first glance it appears to be nonsense, after a close inspection, sharp eyed Bruno readers can pick out "hidden" messages in the text. Ian pulled this stunt a few times in the strip, always to good effect.  I'm not sure if this was inspired by Jim Starlin, Zatanna, or Judas Priest, but either way it adds to the enjoyment of the whole thing.  Bruno the Bandit...the only strip that's as funny backwards as it is forwards.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Brutal Best of Bruno the Bandit: Day 12

...and I mean it this time. 
I just realized that I had skipped Day 11 and mislabeled the last entry as Day 12.  All fixed now.  As you were.

Today's strip is brought to you solely on the strength of the first panel, which has to be easily one of the most unusual and possibly disturbing drawings ever done for Bruno the Bandit.  Truly a classic! 
Also of interest, both Ian and I have had a sort of long-standing, slow burning feud over which classic Conan artist was better, Gil Kane or Ernie Chan (cover artist for our first issue, can you dig it?!).  While I appreciated that no one drew battle scenes like Chan, I didn't care much for his heavy-handed inking style and always preferred Kane's sense of form and composition.  Ian always sided for Chan over Kane's sparse linework and up-the-nose shots.  I can't help but wonder if this strip was, in Ian's own weird way, a "tribute" to Kane.  If so, well done!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Brutal Best of Bruno the Bandit: Day 11

One of the defining and most enjoyable characteristics of Bruno the Bandit is the casual way it deals with the clash between old school sword and sorcery tropes and modern world technology. It's an interesting pocket universe that Bruno lives in, where the collision of ideas can lead to a man who wears a sword to work becoming hooked on the Home Shopping Channel. This strip very nicely sets out that juxtaposition to great comedic effect in this story. I also can't help but think that there's a slight tribute to Berke Breathed in the flat staging of that last panel.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Brutal Best of Bruno the Bandit: Day 10

Not exactly a high point in the career of Bruno the Bandit, but definitely a high point in the comic strip Bruno the Bandit. 
I love the emblem on the judge's dais...makes me wonder if the principle of Rothland law is "beheaded until proven innocent".


Friday, March 3, 2017

Brutal Best of Bruno the Bandit: Day 9

Constable Oswold of the Rothland Imperial Guard...Rothland's answer to Discworld's "Nights Watch"...recounts the crimes of Bruno the Bandit, just to let you know what kind of bad hombre you are dealing with....Unicorn poaching, indeed!  Is nothing beneath him?  Even more telling is the tagline for this strip on the site:  "...And that was just last week!"

Friday, February 24, 2017

Brutal Best of Bruno the Bandit: Day 8

Hitting a kind of trifecta in key Bruno characters, here's the first appearance of Uncle Lucius!  Although he just gets a nod in this story, he will feature more strongly later in the series.  In a way, he kind of reminds me of the grandparents of Charlie Bucket in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", although I can't see this guy singing and dancing like Jack Albertson anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Brutal Best of Bruno the Bandit: Day 7

First on-screen appearance of Bruno's father, Ambrose, the original "one armed bandit"!  Scoundrel in his own right, and parental bane of Bruno's existence!  No matter how good (or bad) Bruno gets, can he ever live up to the legend of Ambrose?
To me this strip is also significant for the creative lettering in the last panel.  Ian often inserts special effects into his dialogue lettering like this.  Artistically, it's one of the things that really distinguishes this strip to my eye, giving it a visual punch like no other.  It also makes me completely envious, because Ian makes hand lettering look so darn easy, and I suck at it so horribly.