Vampires! Werewolves! Monsters! Nazis! This is the world of Ace Kilroy, a soldier of fortune and “special agent” for President Franklin Roosevelt. When the President needs someone to check out some shenanigans, he calls on Ace. however, these shenanigans usually involve monsters and Nazis.
Ace’s adventures are chronicled by Rob Kelly and Dan O’Connor in a daily web comic, drawn and written in the style of classic newspaper strips such as Terry and The Pirates, Steve Canyon, and Dick Tracy (check it out at www.acekilroy.com).
Now, if you will just bear with me, a quick aside; remember the treasury-sized editions from Marvel and DC? Oversized 10 x 14 comics, that were published between 1972 and 1981, featuring reprints or specials like Superman vs. Spider-Man? They were awesome, right? Well, guess who decided to reprint their daily web comic strips in a treasury-sized edition? Yup, Kelly and O’Connor’s Ace Kilroy, down to the 3-D diorama cut out on the back cover.
I first met Rob and Dan at the second Asbury Park Comic Con where I picked up Vol.1 (treasury-sized of course.) They also have regular sized comics for those of you who would rather read a traditional comic rather than one that you can fashion into a sail. As I read it I wondered why had no one done this before? It’s so obvious! Vampires and Nazis? Of course!
Fortunately, for the adventurous types, they currently have a Kickstarter for vol. 2 of Ace Kilroy. Collecting the second story arc where Ace goes to Bavaria to investigate Nazi scientists working on reanimating dead tissue with the help of a certain scientist (not wanting to spoil it for you but the name begins with “Frank”, “en” in the middle and ends in “stein”) This story is such a fun read. Reading a comic in the old-fashioned newspaper strip format provides a kinetic ride. I imagine three panels a day (and full-page, full colored Sunday comics) is constricting to work in but Kelly and O’Connor give us fully realized characters and plots. The artwork evokes the spooky setting of Ace’s adventures. It is very reminiscent of the EC horror comics.
As a follow-up, Vol. 2 delivers more, Ace’s mysterious past is explored, werewolves, and more Nazis! I have to say, I enjoyed Vol. 2 more than the first.
I am looking forward to the treasury edition of Vol. 2, check out their Kickstarter and make sure you pledge enough for a treasury edition.
P.S. If there ever is an Ace Kilroy movie, Joel Edgerton (as seen in The Great Gatsby) would be perfect.