Pinups by: David Yardin, Jason Badower, Jason Paulos, Aaron Shanahan, Marcelo Baez, Ryan Vella, Craig Phillips, Chris Wahl, Steven Preston, L. Frank Weber, Fatih Hasbudak, Norm Breyfogle, Mahmud Asrar
Summary: The second anthology of Killeroo stories, Book Two showcases even more Australian creators and their interpretations of Rufus and his world.
NOTE: The stories within Books One and Two are largely considered “Elseworlds” tales, rather than part of the Killeroo canon. The exception is the feature story “Good for the Goose”, which contains certain characters and elements that have been integrated into continuity.
Review by Ian ThomasKilleroo is back, featured in six stories from a variety of writers and artists. Darren Close’s decision to let other comic creators portray his visually iconic anti-hero is consistently successful.
Killeroo himself remains essentially a loner, wandering across the Australian landscape
on his motorbike, only too happy to enter into a brawl.
The opening story, Good for the Goose, by Jan Napiorski and Jason Badower, provides
a perfect introduction to the character and the book. The addition of a female sidekick
is a nice touch, proving the perfect balance to Killeroo’s abundant machismo. Badower
takes full advantage of the opportunity to render Rufus in a variety of moods and expressions, helping to define the character’s strengths. This first story continues the feel of Hard Day’s Night from Book 1, without directly continuing the narrative.
Free Kick by Andie Tong (inked by Close) and On the Road by Damien Shanahan independently confirm this definitive realisation of Killeroo, though both pieces are
too short to do much with the character.
The Midnight Oil titled Species Deceases goes much further in its four pages, with the Roo going back to his environmentalist roots to combat the problem of foxes in Tasmania. The resolution of this is inventive and wellhandled, and Aaron Shanahan’s moody, sketchy style suits the subject matter perfectly.
Hairbutt the Hippo’s creator Jason Paulos contributes two pieces. While they’re hardly Killeroo “canon,” they are a lot of fun. Killeroo’s Big Night Off is a Hairbutt Vs. Killeroo crossover tale, while the two page Position Vacant is a tribute to the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, contrasting modern sensibilities with those of the 60s/70s, with the Ettamogah Pub getting a lookin as well.
The dark brown printing gives the book a unique and oddly Australian feel. The greyscale reproduction doesn’t do full justice to any of the art, particularly Badower’s, but fortunately many of the pages will soon be viewable in full colour at the website.
Overall, this is a fine collection, functioning more as a Killeroo showcase anthology than as a continuing narrative. The many top artists contributing pinups further confirm this impression, and include Marcelo Baez, Craig Phillips, Chris Wahl, Steve Preston and L. Frank Weber.