The premise behind The Stoned Age focuses on the intersecting lives of the cast of characters as they work and/or hang out at a famous celebrity bong shop in Los Angeles with the same name as the comic. Owen’s script feels haphazard, with what seem like random deviations throughout, but everything occurs in a fun, laid back, sitcom-like tone. One moment the book feels like a pamphlet trying to convince the reader to get on board for legalization, a page or two later it becomes an Oliver Stone-esque conspiracy thriller, a raunchy comedy, or some thing even more bizarre and unexpected. Also, Brad Pitt is in this comic. I don’t mean he has a cameo. Brad Pitt is actually a fairly large and impactful character in this first issue, and while I don’t entirely understand the legalities behind his appearance, it was kind of mind blowing to have this Hollywood star just walk right into the comic and make himself at home.
Mez’s artwork seems like a decent fit for the book, and while it’s clear from a few perspective issues in the first that he’s still learning, the somewhat “unpolished” nature of his art style works tonally with Owens’ script, feeling akin to feel more commonly associated with zines and underground comix then the mainstream Marvel or DC feel. Also, illustrating a comedic book with a lot of dialogue-heavy, character-focused scenes is no easy task, but Mez keeps the artwork in this first issue crisp and easy to digest, never really slowing the book down.
FINAL VERDICT: The Stoned Age: A Hollywood Comedy is a fun book with a unique “flavor,” and the $4.20 price tag is a nice touch. That said, I will say there were a few jokes that fell flat for me (the white “reggae dude” comes to mind) and some sexist depictions of women on par with your average “stoner” comedy flick. Credit must be given to the creative team for pushing against the grain when it comes to typical “stoner” stereotypes, but they only go so far in this first issue. It might serve them and their readers to go much further in this department.
The Stoned Age: A Hollywood Comedy #1 is published by Hiro Unlimited Productions and currently available on Comixology. You can find out more about book by visiting the official Facebook page. That’s all for now, comic book sniffers!
'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer