Hark! I bring you the glory that is Mike Norton’s Battlepug!
(In the interests of full-disclosure, I’ll say up front that I’ve worked with Mike, and that I know him, though admittedly not very well. We did a Queen & Country arc back in the day, Operation: Saddlebags, which saw Tara headed to the Russian Federation to deal with… some very confusing oil leases, actually. And she got into trouble. And threw herself out a third-story window. And generally screwed the pooch on this mission. But this isn’t about that.)
Battlepug is in relatively early days, yet, so it’s a good time to jump aboard. Mike’s been at it longer than we have, but he’s been posting weekly, and the story is just now finding its teeth – literally and metaphorically, I’d say – and he’s got me intrigued. The art is fantastic, which is a given considering its source, but it’s the tone and the story that have me most engaged. Norton’s taken the Conan trope and turned it on its head, and while at first blush he seems to be having fun at the famed barbarian’s expense, there’s something more subversive at work, I think, namely the conceit is that Cute Will Kill You. Home destroyed by a monstrous harp seal only to be captured and forced into slavery for Santa Claus will do that.
It’s an intriguing world, both in the frame of the narrative, as Moll lays nude on her bed in various states of modesty (or lack thereof) and tells the Kinmundian’s story to Colfax and Mingo, two talking pugs who bicker and question and generally prod for more details. The question posed by this Arabian Nights set up is enough to keep me coming back.
Finally, there’s the site itself, with its sincere glee of all things Puggish.
I’ve talked before about my own pursuit of “fun” in comics in general, and here at Lady Sabre specifically. Norton delivers this in spades. Battlepug is fun, silly, gleeful fun, and even without the wonderful art and the wit of the story, it would remain so.
Because, c’mon, there’s a giant pug.
Makes me wish I had a dog.