Comic Shots #16 with Ryan Haupt: Pranqster and ‘Loki’

It’s back! Each week the iFanStaff passes along a tasty drink recipe and an even tastier comic book recommendation. The cocktail (or beer, or wine, or booze) and the comic can both be enjoyed independently, but they have a common theme and when served together they can make for the perfect reading experience.

This should be the easiest thing in the world to write. On the very few occasions when I actually have an opportunity to sit on my couch with a stack of comics I always have a drink at the ready. But more often than not I try to pair things with my mood, or with the weather, or even with just whatever’s available in my beer fridge / liquor cabinet. Rarely to I pair with the book I’m reading. Probably because I have an entire stack of things to read (as any good comic fan should) and pairing specifically with any one book would likely be a disservice to the others. But this is all just a caveat for why my first pairing may seem a bit on the nose because this week I’m pairing Loki with Pranqster.

I’m doing my Comic Shots out of order (i.e. book first, then drink) because I think the book informs my drink more than the other way around. And because I’m tricky like that. It’ll make sense in a second.

Loki #1 – 4 (Available on, owner of iFanboy)
Written by Robert Rodi
Illustrated by Esad Ribic
Collected as Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers

The book begins with Loki in the newly assumed role of Lord of Asgard. Thor and his allies are in shackles and Loki is stuck with a kingdom to run and relatively little Aesir support to do so. There are many reductive ways to boil down this book to its essence and while I will use a few to aid in your understanding, know that my writing cannot capture the subtlety of this entire title start to finish. The elevator pitch for this book could be: a god of chaos tries to maintain order. This role reversal doesn’t sit will with the titular trickster.

The art is stunning, giving even long monologues striking visual interest. Monologues which, to me, read like Dinobot of Beast Wars parroting Hamlet. That may sound like a ridiculous comparison but for those who like Beast Wars as much as I you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s the story of what the dog does when he finally catches the car. Loki tries to hold the reigns on the future of Asgard while his past comes back to haunt him and the future seems ever more bleak. All the while, Thor remains an ominous presence, even in chains with the date of his execution looming ever forward. Loki seems old and he seems tired, more of a sad clown than a mirthful conniver. I won’t spoil the ending but it’s about as shocking as when a lion tries to go vegetarian. However, sometimes thinking you know what you’re about to get makes the reception that much more engaging and potentially surprising. Just like our beer!

So what about that beer? PranQster is a Belgian style Golden Ale (also known as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale) made by North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg, California. Beyond the obviousness of the name, I think this is the perfect beer for Loki as a character and within this story. It’s a beer made in a traditional style but not actually of that style (i.e. a Belgian beer made in the USA), just as Loki is a raised Aesir but actually from Jotunheim. It’s a little rougher than it’s more refined and traditional European cousins, with a little more fruit and a little more funk. At a glance it looks like a typical pale lager one might find at any watering hole around the world, but even getting close enough for a sniff is to know that it is a wolf in sheep’s clothes, and comes with layers of complexity only to be known by giving in fully to it’s charms. While PranQster is easy to drink deep, it’s yet potent enough to reconsider a second. For all it’s subtetly, complexity, unexpected charms, I think this beer could titillate the palate of ourr Asgardian prankster while he paradoxically licks his victory wounds in Loki.

Can’t find PranQster in your area? Beer distribution can leave folks wanting, so for alternatives I suggest: Duvel, Damnation, or Delerium Tremens.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Ryan Haupt is out to drink all the beers so you don’t have to! But you’re certainly encouraged to. Follow Ryan’s quaffing adventures on Untappd and on the podcastScience… sort of.

Please obey the law and only drink if you are of age. Drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Buy the comics that make you happy, and when they do, pass them on!


  1. The beer comic shots is my new favorite column. Both brew and book are great! Good pairing, Ryan!

  2. @Ryan: If those are beers you’d like I’d recommend Raging Bitch beer from the Flying Dog Brewery. It’s a Belgian-style IPA so it has some similarities to Duvel. It’s 8.3% but it’s more potent than that would suggest. Definitely not a beer you’d have more than one bottle of. Might be good to drink while reading Mystique?

    Treated myself to a nice bottle of Sink The Bismark from Brewdog recently. It’s a 41% IPA that’s £40 for a 330ml bottle. With the WW2 reference I’d probably recommend reading it with some Captain America. Here’s the link:

    • 41% ABV? Damn. I thought Sam Adam’s Utopia was the highest ABV beer at 27% ABV (I think; definitely high 20’s). And I second Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch. It’s one of my favorite brews of theirs, along with the Gonzo Porter.

    • The BrewDog guys have another beer in the same high 20’s range called Tactical Nuclear Penguin. Hoping to pick up a bottle soon.

  3. now this is a really good article. i wanna see at least one of these a week. i was a chef for almost 15 years and the idea of pairing a beverage with a comic as opposed to food is a really interesting idea to me.
    i saw this story on netflix, and i thought it was beautiful on a lot of levels.
    i will definitely check that brew out

  4. He. I love the warning of drinking age at the bottom. I’m from Belgium, and the legal drinking age here is 16. (Although no one really cares, drank my first beer when I was 15). I’m glad to hear Belgian beer is so populair in the USA that they even make “Belgian style” beer. Nice! 😀

    • belgian beer is some of the best beer in the world. american beer was horrible before the micro-breweries. and although we do belgian style, there is nothing like the real thing.