Pullbox Reviews: Pablo the Gorilla- Mmmmm, Pizza…

  • Pablo the Gorilla
  • Zoo Magnet, Inc
  • Created, Written, & Illustrated by Don Nguyen
  • Variant cover by Dustin Nguyen
  • Editor in Chief, Zlata Jukanovic

It’s tough enough being a cyborg gorilla delivering pizzas, but it gets a lot worse when the government and monster hunt you down.

Press Release: Pablo the Gorilla is a labor of love years in the making that draws inspiration from indie comic favorites like TMNT, Tank Girl, 90s comics like Cyberforce and X-Force, and from movies like Mighty Joe Young and the Planet of the Apes franchise. It follows an albino, cyborg gorilla that delivers pizza and just wants to live life. However, the government that created him wants their pet project back. A mysterious creature also hunts down the unwitting, cybernetically-enhanced primate. A gorilla’s struggle is all too real.

The Pablo Kickstarter campaign successfully funded on August 9th with 151% in pledges, surpassing its $3,700 ask and hitting $5,601 to produce a comic with 3 covers and enamel pins. The comic features a regular cover by Don Nguyen, a blank sketch cover and an exclusive variant cover by Eisner winner Dustin Nguyen of Lil Gotham, Descender and Detective Comics renown. Reward fulfillment completed in November and the comic can be found at Atomic Basement Comics in Long Beach, CA, as well as both the Culver City, CA and Manhattan Beach, CA locations of the Comic Bug.

I got a look at this off the wall indie gem, and had a blast with it… for as tragically short a time as it lasted. That’s it, my only complaint is that it was too short & left me hungry for more cybernetic gorilla mayhem. Which is, I suppose, not the absolute worst problem a comics creator can have. Chatted for a quick minute with Pablo’s creator/writer/artist, Don Nguyen about that very thing:

Nguyen: Hehe, thank you for the kind words! Yeah, it’s meant to be short with just a couple peeks into his past. Working on #2 right now. It’s been getting good feedback & was doing well at cons

Pullbox (Me): I’ll bet. It’s the kind of left of center title that would appeal to a surprising number of people just based on “quirkiness”.

Nguyen: Thank you, quirky is the crowd I’m going for. Personally, I feel my cross-section would be TMNT, Tankgirl & Hellboy fans. I wanted a quick fun book that harkened back to the idea of quick reads from a spinner rack.

Kickstarter exclusive variant cover by Dustin Nguyen

Bottom line is that this book moves fast… crazy fast, but there’s just enough of a set up done in a flashback to hint at a deeper backstory. Sure, there are going to be those who don’t need much more than “cybernetically enhanced gorilla” to grab their attention, but it’s there for the more discerning reader. The seeds were planted, & I want more…

And the artwork is just cool. Between Pablo & the mysterious hunter, I really got into the bizarre character designs. The action is every bit as fast as the story, Nguyen showing a pretty good handle on dynamic characters in motion. Not really all that surprising when you consider how long Pablo has been in the works… since way back in 2004 when Nguyen was stricken with a case of the doodles.

Final Score: 9 (& a purchase on Nguyen’s Etsy page… figure that counts toward the score)

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