People seem to take a liking to Independent productions, also known as “Indies”. You’ve got Indie games, movies, and even TV shows on occasion. A high budget isn’t always need to produce something high quality. Sometimes all you need is the know-how, skill, and knowledge of what makes something work to fully put it together. This is what makes the works of a Mr. “Corey Lewis” so engaging.
Corey Lewis is known for a ton of more obscure comics, these include his anthology series known as “Sun Bakery”. Sun Bakery is a collection various comics, some of which are old and some are new. One of said older comics is “Sharknife”. It’s hard to fully describe what Sharknife, but I’ll try. The comic revolves around a young man named Caesar Hallelujah, and his best friend Chieko. They work for a Chinese food restaurant, that also doubles as a massive factory.
With the walls of said factory dwell powerful monsters, placed their by a gangster known as “Ombra Ravenga”. While fighting these malicious monsters is merely a meager attempt, the Guangdong Factory has one secret weapon up its sleeves: Caesar Hallelujah. By downing a single fortune cookie, Caesar becomes a powerful superhero named “Sharknife”. Not only does he gain super-natural strength and abilities, but also a fair bit of video-game-based powers. Using his varied skill-set, Caesar defends his place of employment from the various creatures and beings that threaten it.
On paper, this premise sounds ridiculous and kind of bland. In execution, it actually turns out to be pretty freaking awesome! A lot of this comes down to the artwork, which is magnificent. Lewis managed to combine the fluidity and action of a Shonen manga, with the style and urban feel of wall-graffiti. What it creates is an action series with fluid and fast-paced fight scenes. Despite being still images, the movements give off an “animated feel”. It’s hard to describe, but it comes down to how actions are portrayed.
Fights often play out with each character knocking each other around with flashy moves, combined with a strong sense of style. The amount of power put into every panel of every page is almost intoxicating. The way every punch is drawn makes you feel the impact, it’s really quite the rush! Likewise, character designs are pretty good.
I can always tell what each character is like by their design, which is always a plus. Unfortunately, sometimes a character doesn’t go beyond their design and general personality. Despite the amount of characters, only a few of them ever get focused on. The second volume (which goes by the subtitle “Double-Z”) is pretty infamous for introducing way too many characters, and bringing in characters from even more obscure spinoff materials.
As much as I like Sharknife, a lot of the series is style over substance. Sure, the fight-scenes, character designs, art-style, and backgrounds look amazing! Unfortunately, the dialogue, story, and how the characters act can be fairly bland. For example, the second volume introduces a long lost childhood rival of Caesar’s named “Enta Da Dragon”. Enta’s whole driving goal is to murder Caesar, because he beat him in a videogame and got superpowers. Seriously, that’s his whole purpose in the series.
Then again, Sharknife isn’t a series that takes itself too seriously at all. I can look past the lackluster story and somewhat underdeveloped characters, and still enjoy it for what it is: A sugar-infused action series with a lot of heart to it. I look forward to seeing what the “Soul of Sharknife” story in Sun Bakery will be like. Hopefully, it’ll be just as awesome as the first two volumes!