Writer, Illustrator, and Letterer: Kyle Starks
Colorist: Chris Schweizer
WHAT IS IT?
Old Head is a charming trip down memory lane, as we get a glimpse of Nash Glivens as a boy looking for an outlet for his anger in the 1950s, to his star-studded college career in the 1960s, to mobbing bodies in the pros in the 1970s, and to fatherhood in the 90s.
If you are a fan of Kyle Starks’ previous work, then Old Head is a no brainer. If this story is your introduction to Starks’ work (it was for me but I have met Kyle quite a few times at Heroes Con and he is a pleasure to talk with), then this mashup of Dracula meets NBA Jam will give you an idea of what is about to go down.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Nash Glivens, aka “Old Head," is a former pro-basketball player who thrived in the more physical aspect of the game. Glivens used to lead the league in personal fouls and ejections, but will be quick to tell you he finished seventh in steals one year! Glivens's mother recently passed away and so he takes a visit to his childhood home to sell the house to a new owner, bringing along his daughter, Willie.
Much to Nash’s chagrin, there has always been this weird castle-looking house that neighbors his mother’s home and Nash has agreed to sell his mother’s home to the owner of that odd place. Nash meets the residents of the home, who turn out to be quite...eccentric. Some terrifying yet hilarious fighting ensues as Nash learns secrets from his family’s past. Along the way, you will meet some vampires. Quite a few vampires. One of them might be named Lil’ Menopause…
Will Nash survive the fight of his life? Can Willie wait to see her grandmother’s room until Nash comes home? Who is the mysterious owner of the castle next door??
I never knew I needed to see someone dribble Dracula’s head while crossing up Vampires until I read this comic.
SERIOUSLY HE BROKE SOME VAMPIRE’S ANKLES BY CROSSING THEM UP! There are literally broken ankles, I do not kid.
I enjoyed how things that happen throughout the story come full circle at the end. There are a lot of little details that are rewarding if you pay close enough attention throughout.
I came into the story expecting a lot of laughs but was not expecting a lot of feels. I had a lot of feels.
Willie Glivens is a wonderful character and Starks does a great job of showing how she can take care of business all by herself.
Willie’s dialogue throughout the story is just purely enjoyable and says exactly what the reader is hoping someone in her position would say. Well, some variation of what you’d expect someone to say, but it is still hilarious.
I was initially sold on this story based on the actual first page that Starks shared while promoting this as a Kickstarter. Looking at young Nash’s face as his mother tells him that she killed all the monsters and the panel reveals a crucifix on the cabinet door while simultaneously showing Nash’s utterly shocked face was all I needed to be sold.
Schweizer’s colors are killer here. Comparing the black-and-white updates we were getting to the fully finished colors, there was no question why Starks decided to team up with his Rock Candy Mountain partner again.
Another thing that I noticed about Schweizer’s colors upon my second read was how he utilizes color palettes to deepen panels that are showing a character’s vulnerability.
Starks does an excellent job of utilizing panels and coming up with creative ways to display a basketball game (announcers included).
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
I am going to flatly state that there is nothing that does not work with this comic. The only thing that I would like to have seen was maybe more time spent with Nash and Willie for the reader to see.
Disclaimer that there is some cursing, strong language, and sexual innuendos, so it may not be for everyone.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Seriously, this is an incredibly fun read and if you are a fan of basketball or bloodsucking vampires, this is the story for you. If you aren’t fans of those two things? I still highly recommend reading it, as it gives you an idea of how incredibly talented and creative Kyle Starks is. The dialogue between Nash and Willie is hysterical and offers a stark contrast to how an adult sees the world versus how a kid sees it.
As I mentioned above, I was not really coming into this story expecting heartwarming aspects nor did I anticipate how things I would read at the beginning of the story would come back to play a role in the end. This is a brilliant comic and I encourage everyone to read it.
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Kyle Starks – Writer, Illustrator, and Letterer
Starks is a big pro-wrasslin' fan and is a big fan of a certain freshly squeezed wrestler.
He is still on the hunt for the doctor that smacked his bottom when he was born, so he can return the favor.
Has been nominated for Eisner Award and has worked for Oni Press and Image comics.
Chris Schweizer – Colorist
Dream Team: This is the second book that Schweizer and Starks have worked on together.
Schweizer is a big fan of history and historical figures, you should check out the pieces he puts out for his Patreon commissions.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
You can preorder Old Head from Starks’ store!
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Old Head characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Kyle Starks or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED