Schlock Mercenary: Emperor Pius Dei by Howard Tayler

Emperor Pius Dei by Howard TaylerI’m getting close in reading these books to the point at which I started reading the web-comic. It’s starting to look a lot more like the comic I started reading a number of years ago.

I’m really astonished with the transformation in story-telling, writing, artwork and world building that Howard Tayler has gone through. When I look back at the scribbles that were the early books and the mess that was the plot of the Blackness Between I find myself more and more baffled at the change for the better that has come along. Then I compare that to the strength that he has brought to his current story lines and I am excited to see where this kind of learned skill and talent will go form here.

Emperor Pius Dei is basically about the machinations of Petey and his flexing of his new godlike ability to predict and orchestrate the event of galaxies. However, it’s told at the level of the people caught in his machinations, people who knew him before he was the eminently prescient fleetmind. The result is a story that feels epic and sweeping while also being intimate and mature.

Howard Tayler has been writing wonderful comics for over a decade. In that time he has not missed a single day of comic strips that are telling compelling stories with fabulous characters, brilliant science fiction and at least one joke in every strip.

There are better artists out there. There may even be better storytellers. Howard Taylor, however, isn’t just an artist or storyteller. He’s an epic space opera cartoonist, and in that particular field, he is the best that there is.

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