Lukasz Kowalczuk joins illustrator Jack Teagle to create a humorous tale of survival. This 48-page, quick read comic is full of sciience fiction action. The story starts off with our brash hero, Rad Erwank, as a deadbeat, in every sense. He has abandoned his child, stopped saving his planet and instead spends his days intoxicated and angry. When his planet is invaded by enemy aliens, his former sidekick kicks his butt into gear, though not without difficulty.

The second section of this comic is an edition of the Conspiracy Dog comic series by Kek-W and illustrated by Kowalczuk. These two creators have such similar styles that you would think it’s the same author writing both. Conspiracy Dog features funny moments that are relevant to today’s high-tech society. For example, Kek-W pokes fun at friends hanging out but conversing through their cell phones, so engrossed in their own device’s screens that they may as well just be at their own homes.

These are humorous adult stories that don’t have a lot of complexity or depth. The simple drawing style fits the quick read nature of this comic. The bulk of the humor is political, so prepare for lots of Soviet and socialist slang like Reds and Ruskies. A classic story of “socialism is evil and must be stopped.” It feels like it’s written for an older American audience who want to make fun of the social changes that are occurring in society due to modern technology, while continuing to poke fun at the same old dynamic that we see in many movies and books: America is good, Russia is bad.

This book isn’t for the faint of heart. There is a lot of profanity, alcohol, smoking, drug usage, rude gestures, and negative representation; including the use of defamatory language about gay people. This book could be enjoyed by readers at a public library, however I wouldn’t recommend adding it to a school library collection. There is good humor and a couple of fun short stories to enjoy but for more mature audiences to appreciate.

Rad Erwank & Conspiracy Dog
By Lukasz Kowalczuk and Kek-W
Art by Jack Teagle and Lukasz Kowalczuk
ISBN: 9781681486048
Alternative Comics, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: 15+

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NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)

  • Kendra

    | She/Her


    Kendra Perkins has worked at libraries in Canada, the U.A.E., China and South Korea where she has been everything from Founding Head Librarian to volunteer. She was Ambassador of China for the International Librarians Network, and she was elected to be Coordinator for the Shanghai Librarians Network (SLN), which is a community of almost 100 library professionals from more than 20 schools. She has completed her ALA accredited Masters in Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta. She has traveled to over 90 countries, learned to speak basic Mandarin Chinese along the way and kept up with too many graphic novel series to keep count. She has led workshops, created webinars and done library consultations in fun places like Italy and Hong Kong. She has been a guest blogger for multiple technology and education related websites and is a published book reviewer for Urban Family magazine. Find out more at her website, which she should update more frequently:

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