Synopsis: For their part in a terrible crime, a group of 15th Century French soldiers are forever cast out from the world of men when they are each cursed, transformed into a different species of ape by a powerful witch. And become ‘Shit Flingers’.
Captured by The Inquisition, they are smuggled to Rome and coerced into the Bestiary; a secret organisation located deep beneath what will eventually become the Sistine Chapel.
Led by their new employer, a young Thomas De Torquemada, they begin a new life fighting occult monsters, demons and the heretical enemies of the Church.
‘Shit Flingers: Bestiary’ chronicles their adventures from 1453 to 1584.
Review: Devised by writer Jimmy Furlong and artist Andrew Hartmann ‘Shit Flingers’ is a comic book series that has been about 3 – years in the making. This book collects together the first six issues, which are all penned and drawn by some of the hottest new talents in UK Comics.
The stories contained in the pages are pulp in the best sense of the word.
Despite the ironic title, which makes sense given the amount of laddish banter that the heroes of the book have. The stories are pure action adventure and put me in mind of the ‘The Musketeers’ films of the 1970’s in terms of the character interactions and dynamic action.
The art is stunning and visceral and each of the characters has their own distinct look and temperament. My favourite being the utterly psychotic Chabot who is known as ‘Little Death’ by his fellow team members. And when you read the comic you’ll learn just how deadly a character he is. He’s just a tad unhinged as well.
If I have one small niggle about these stories. Its the fact that the action is so fast and vigorous that there is little time for character beats. I’d like to have seen a few bits of the apes drinking and reminiscing so we could get to know them a little more. But given that this is hopefully only the first book of a series. This is something that can maybe addressed at a later date.
Another issue for me was the intro pages, which are text, but done in an old English style of font, which made it a little difficult to read. It looks pretty and is obviously a style choice. But on the digital copy I read, which was sent me for review purposes it was a little tough to make out some of the words at times.
Something ‘Shit Flingers’ does really well is reference certain elements from pop culture and make them a part of its own universe. In my first reading of the book I spotted a nice little reference to the original ‘Planet Of The Ape’s’ film, but we also have rock singer Jim Morrison pop up in one story for a brief stint as our heroes visit the Empyream, which is where all reality and imagination past present and future exists.
The characters in the story are well thought out and instantly hook you. Like with any good team each character has certain strengths. For example where Chabot is completely unhinged to the point of having no regard for his own safety. A more thoughtful character comes in the form of Grenouille who has an interest and a knowledge of magic, which is a useful thing to have given some of the supernatural foes that they fight.
When I interviewed Jimmy and Andrew about this project way back in 2013. They told me that they hope to carry the characters gradually forward through different historical periods.
From what have read and enjoyed from this first volume. I hope that they get to do just that. I also hope that the more conservative people that took exception on the comics title would just get past it and read it already. They’re seriously missing out.
‘Shit Flingers’ was developed by Jimmy Furlong and Andrew Hartmann with stories written by Jimmy Furlong, Pete McQue, Dave Hailwood, Jeff Aden, Jack Chambers and the book was edited by Claire Lenton.
The art team on the series was headed up by Andrew Hartmann.
‘Shit Flingers’ was done via a kickstarter campaign. So as such only has limited availability at this time, but we can hope that it will some how find its way into comic stores and take pride of place among other indie titles.