Husbands: Drawn In #2 sees Cheeks and Brady continuing their journey through a “vortex of time and ink” that features pit stops in various comic book genres. I had a chance to speak with Espenson and Bell last weekend at the Los Angeles-based Whedonopolis charity event (featuring screenings of Dr. Horrible, The Guild, and Husbands), and they commented on how the concept of genre jumping was key to transitioning Husbands completely into the comic book medium. Apparently, the suggestion of Husbands in space kept popping up in the early stages of development and served as the inspiration for Espenson and Bell’s brilliant concept for the mini-series. In my opinion, this concept is the flux capacitor of the series, and Espenson and Bell are having no trouble keeping this baby at a consistent 88 m.p.h.
This issue sees our heroes plunged into the medieval ages. Less Game of Thrones and more Grimms' Fairy Tales, the issue maintains the humor and smart dialogue of both the sitcom and the first issue. When Cheeks (or Cheekston, as he’s referred to in the land of bloomers) refuses to become the dutiful lover of the lustful Prince Arden, he finds himself a royal prisoner and attempts to escape, only to have his plans interrupted by the rescue attempts of Prince Kelly of Holly Woodlands. As the title page describes him, Cheekston is “justifiably belligerent” about his damsel-in-distress position, channeling a bit of Princess Leia with his snarkiness, resourcefulness, and determination to be rescued by no one but himself. Cheekston even manages to get into it with the narrator during a funny moment that breaks the fourth wall (or do we have panels instead of walls when it comes to comics?). Another plus for this issue is the fact that it manages to get Cheeks and Brady in their birthday suits for a good portion of the final pages. Now, I won’t admit to enjoying every time a little skin is shown in the sequential art medium (It’s totally true; I’m a big comic book nudity slut.), but this worked for me on two levels (No, Cheeks is not the first level with Brady being the second.). First, it is another much needed occurrence of male nudity in a female nudity-dominated medium, and, perhaps my favorite, it’s brash and unapologetic enough to drive One Million Moms one millions times around the bend. You know Kevin Keller is just dying for a guest appearance at this point!
Finally, let me give some much deserved kudos to artist Natalie Nourigat for her wonderful work on this issue. The decision to switch up artists with each “genre jump” is a great tool for giving every time and place a different flavor and, hopefully, introducing writers to a talented array of comic book artists. Much like the last issue, Husbands: Drawn In has found an excellent pairing with Nourigat, and her animated and expressive art still adds extra zing to the sharp and witty story crafted by Espenson and Bell.
You can find out more about Husbands: Drawn In, read a free preview, and purchase a digital copy of the first and second issues (for only $0.99) at the Dark Horse Comics website. Also, if you haven’t yet watched the Husbands sitcom, then be sure to stop by and familiarize yourself with what Ira Glass calls ‘the future of TV.’
That’s it for now, comic book sniffers!
'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer