Swords & Lazers 2 (2014)
Art/Story by, Benjamin Marra
Swords and Lazers 2 is part 10 in the Sacred Prism series. Sacred Prism is a series of veeery independent creator owned fantasy stories (this is the only one I have read though). The book is a 5" x 7" total joyride and can be read after part 1 (Blades and Lazers, Sacred Prism 4). That being said, there is enough information for this to be read as a one-shot.
So we've got the Gearson Brothers, shown on the cover, who capture a wizard under the instruction/payment of Mistress General, to summon the galactic demon Dral-Hultrythrer. There is much more to it with super fun boss battles and really quipy lines. Marra successfully manages to play out a full, fun story in 14 pages that doesn't feel rushed. The sci-fi and action elements of the story give this crazy 80's cult movie vibe which gave me a sense of nostalgia but was also a refreshing departure from some of the books I usually read.
The colors and art work together in a great way. Color-wise, only dark blue and pink are used, which is an interesting choice. Using these two colors as well as the white of the pages, Marra makes each panels intent very clear. All of the characters have a different look, as though they are all from different worlds. For example, the first panel shows three wizards, one who looks a bit like Sinestro, one who looks like Merlin, and one who has a little car for legs. The backgrounds are riddled with planets and stars while the ground uses pink dots of varying sizes to give a sense of perspective.
My only complaint about this book is that I don't know when I will be able to read the next adventure of the Gearson Brothers! Marra's mixture of writing, color, and art is unique and gets in your face without being abrasive. If you want to check out Blades and Lazers 2 or any of the other Sacred Prism books, you can check them out at http://secretprison.storenvy.com/. If you would like to see some of Benjamin Marra's other work/sketches/etc. then check out his website at http://www.benjaminmarra.com.