Stuff I Dig: D4ve

On this edition of Stuff I Dig I wanted to take a moment to shine the spotlight on the sci-fi comic book D4VE, written by Ryan Ferrier with art by Valentin Ramon and published through Monkeybrain Comics.

Here’s the official blurb:
Mid-life. Crisis. D4VE, the defense-bot-turned-desk-slave, withers away at a soul-sucking day job, quitely dreaming of his monster-punching past. Unbeknownst to him-yet-new alien presence lands on Earth.

Before we dive in, I need to start off by letting you know that I’m jealous.

I’m jealous because you have the potential to experience D4VE, for the very first time.

Why do I dig D4VE so much?

For one, this hilarious 5-issue sci-fi romp fit right in with my current mindset of “comics should be fun.” At some point during the last year I become desensitized and bored with all of the comics that were going “dark.” Everything was headed to “street level” to deal with “grim” and “gritty” situations. Call me an escapist, but I need my entertainment to make me smile and forget about those bad things that plague the world. The world is a dark enough place as-is and right now, thank you very much.

For two, D4VE takes place in the distant future once humans have run their course and the robots have taken over. Rather than improve the planet or do something super important, the robots fall into the same vicious cycle that humans did, working mindless jobs and dealing with the same types of relationship problems that we face every day.

As we all know, comics are a visual medium and artist Valentin Ramon takes full advantage of this, giving us characters that have their own distinct look and feel and tell us something about themselves right there on the page before they ever speak a line of dialogue. THAT’s good character design, right there. His action scenes are hyper-kinetic and you can feel each punch, kick and laser blast as the story progresses and D4VE shakes off his defense bot rust.

Much of the humor in the comic comes from the dialogue, but Ramon’s panels brought many a smile to my face as characters went ahead and did things that could be considered downright juvenile at times. It was awesome.

Ramon built an entire world that’s recognizable as Earth, but shows a future that could very well be in our cards. His lines and colors give us a setting that pops but maintains a beautiful overtone of rust, oil and hopelessness.

Let’s talk about writer Ryan Ferrier, one half of the Challenger Comics team, and letterer of probably every comic book you’re currently reading. If there’s one thing I know about this fella, it’s that he loves comics. This is clear not only by his creative output, but also the fact that he uses his free time to promote other people’s independent comics projects. Yeah, these are the type of people we need to be supporting.

Ferrier’s dialogue is spot on, creating a whole set of slang for the characters and the dude uses every possible opportunity to parody everything that’s happening in the world. The details and logos in the backgrounds of the comic often provide as much comedic relief as what the characters are chattering about.

If you’ve ever worked a corporate office job then you’ll feel D4ve’s pain throughout the first few issues. I can only assume that Ferrier is drawing from his own personal experiences as a cubicle monkey. That, or he was spying on me while I worked in that world. It’s that easy to relate to and immediately puts D4ve in a sympathetic light for anyone who has shared these awful, horrible, inhumane experiences. When poop hits the fan and aliens invade the planet, we’re treated to a scene of D4ve quitting his job in a manner that we could only dream of.

I’m going to pause here so you can go buy the issues and get to reading.

Seriously, I’ll wait.

Assuming that you’ve followed my advice and purchased (and read) D4VE, pick up Ferrier’s other work including Tiger Lawyer, The Brothers James, and Bloody F**king Revenge, because I promise you’re going to love those too.

All five issues are currently available through ComiXology and you can download the entire series for a mere $5. I promise you, if you’re a comic book reader who loves to laugh and enjoys a fun sci-fi adventure, it’s the smartest five dollars you could spend today.

I’m done blabbering about it. Go buy it. Read it. Click here to do so.

Jobsdamn, this is what comics are all about.

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