PVP: The Dork Ages
PVP: The Dork Ages by Scott Kurtz (Image Comics)
Scott Kurtz’s wildly funny PVP is the best of the current crop of webtoons, those comic strips that never would have found distribution in a newspaper but thrive on the Internet. Kurtz did six issues of a comic book based on his strip for Dork Storm Press before moving over to Image Comics — this paperback collects those six issues.
The premise of the comic strip, and this collection, is simple — Kurtz is telling the story of the staff of a video game magazine: the hard-working boss Cole, his best friend, the uber-pretentious Brent Sienna, Brent’s girlfriend Jade (the rare gamer girl), lunatic tech-teen Francis and the company intern, Skull, a big blue troll with a heart of gold and a brain of styrofoam.
Kurtz was still in the learning stage when he started this comic — the first three stories are quite short, although entertaining. The third issue, a take on Manga and Anime, is particularly wild, but may be confusing for people not into that sort of thing. Starting with the fourth issue, the “PVP Christmas Special,” Kurtz hit his stride. The Christmas story is a send-up of everything from “Miracle on 34th Street” to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” to “A Christmas Carol,” with jokes from sources as various as Superman comics, the “Battle of the Planets” cartoon and Isaac Asimov. Issue five, a Matrix parody, pokes just as much fun at the current state of comic strips as it does of that movie, and the last story in the collection is a gut-busting yet oddly sweet tale about Skull the Troll trying to reunite estranged lovers Brent Sienna and Jade Fontaine. The book also gives us several pin-up pages and, for those of us who are into that sort of thing — a roleplaying module that will allow you to game as the superhero characters the PVP crew plays in the comic.
This is a great package. PVP is a wonderful strip, and it’s impossible for anyone with a heart not to find something to love in this collection.