Created by Thane Benson
Independently published, December 2020
JAGGED CREATURES FLASH TO LIFE like a flip book in a kaleidoscope in this independent cartoon comic featuring QUICK THE CLOCKWORK KNIGHT in a haunted-tower adventure, filled with alternate routes and clues to skip forward to designated pages, circle around, or slide backward after an explosion blows you up, or you fall out a window, or get eaten by squirmy bug things or other invertebrate beasts magnified into monsters with lots of teeth and tentacles as you persevere to rescue your friend, a gangly good-natured monkey guy with goggle glasses who was abducted by a buzzard, and whom I suspect depicts the author, the same guy who tells us later in a clue-filled journal found amidst the clutter: “I am not crazy. I am divinely inspired. The fools!”
I admit, I escaped the labyrinth without solving all the puzzles, yet I returned later and explored, back and forth, and swam with the fishes in the moat to discover new clues. The colors are vivid, the action gripping, the mysteries many; and the pointy-helmed knight encased in metal makes a good avatar, not easily bruised or menaced, and always plainly facing the way he is headed.
The story runs a lengthy, yet satisfying 125 pages, with a bonus text at the end pulled from one of the ruined books found in the tower, illustrated by wonderful fantasy art fit to hang with the masters. The puzzles and clues in the game layout are so engaging, because the naïve art clings and envelops, tingles and stuns, especially in the end when the prince of the tower and our monkey friend are found at last together in the top room, and the tale of the prince as a young man unfolds in a series of lustrous full-page portraits that gleam like the treasure one expects at the end of a successful quest behind the last locked door.
Yet it does not end really. No spoiler to say Quick the knight survives and rides away on a flying turtle with his smart monkey sidekick and the liberated prince, crying, “More adventures await!”
Readers can support the artist directly – http://thanebenson.com/quick – and plead for the next one. Just go back while you wait and get through the hard parts here in the haunted tower some endless afternoon, and see what you missed.