The Dark Lord's song says:
"Where there's a whip, there's a way!"
& the White Hand, too.
I picked up Orcs, the first of Stan Nicholls' novels about the eponymous fantasy race, solely because of the pretty much perfect cover image by scultpor Tom Lauten & photographer Geoff Spear. There were things to recommend about the book-- hey, any book that deals with the usual villain in a more three-dimensional view has something going for it-- but there were things to detract from it as well, like the fact that the villains of the tales ended up being fairly blank & two-dimensional themselves. I didn't hate the book, by any means, but it certainly didn't compel me to chase down the (equally pretty) subsequent volumes. I grabbed Orcs: Forged for War on a similar basis-- hey, a comic book about orcs!-- before I even realized it was Nicholls' writing behind it. When I finally figured that out, I was actually pretty excited. Part of the problem with Nicholls' novel was that it was just too long-- because his villains didn't have all that much depth to them, he didn't need nearly so long to lay them out as he took, & his plot line was a pretty standard video game key collection mission, & again, we didn't need all those pages to get there. The graphic medium, I figured, would be a better fit, & I was right. Again, we have some "bad guys" who are pretty over the top, but with a lower page count, it goes down. Flood's artwork really sells it-- he manages to get a sense of motion in his images with an economy of panels. Hacking & slashing win the day, & Joe Flood's treatment of the warband's roll call shows that he has an easy knack for differentiating green dudes, besides the obvious facial tattoos & warts. Plus, orangutan-ogre & pterodactyl-harpies.