Snarked 12 (September 2012)

I guess Langridge gives Snarked a very grown-up ending. It fits with the fable tone he’s established, but it also got me all teary-eyed. It’s a philosophically rewarding finish, which isn’t the same thing as being an immediately pleasurable one. Langridge covers a lot of territory. There’s a lot more character development than one would expect for a final issue–he has something like three big scenes between the major characters. He also has time for the humor. I never mentioned the Chipmunk, who’s on the ship’s crew and is something of a ninja. She doesn’t do anything this issue, but … Continue reading Snarked 12 (September 2012)

Snarked 11 (August 2012)

Langridge goes all out this issue in terms of obviousness. It’s okay though, he’s earned the right to be forward. He deals with the Walrus’s character and the Royal Family’s family issues bluntly. And he makes great scenes out of them. In terms of the former, it’s not as blunt. There’s a great twist to reward the reader (and the Walrus). But the family stuff is blunt because it needs to be. Scarlett has to carry too much and the weight reaches its apex towards the end of the issue. The beauty of Snarked (and Langridge) is the issue isn’t … Continue reading Snarked 11 (August 2012)

Snarked 10 (July 2012)

Langridge comes up with some rather unexpected turns this issue. He opens it with a couple asides, first a reference to the occupy movement with the evil royalty back home, then the Gryphon running the pirate ship, before catching up with the main cast on Snark Island. This issue isn’t as full as the last one, but Langridge still has some major events before the pirates arrive. I’m not spoiling, it’s on the cover. There’s a lot of nice character work with the Walrus. Langridge’s intentions with him are so clear, the captain can even see them and comments on … Continue reading Snarked 10 (July 2012)

Snarked 9 (June 2012)

This issue is gloriously full. The cast arrives on Snark Island and Langridge sets them out exploring. But the captain has been to the island before, which leads to him remembering geographic features. Then there are the bickering lion and unicorn guards, then there’s the missing king…. It goes on and on, so much so the cliffhanger comes as a surprise. Langridge has already put his characters through two major challenges; one would expect him to let up a little. There’s a lot of great character work in the issue too. McDunk magically becomes smart on the island, leading to … Continue reading Snarked 9 (June 2012)

Snarked 8 (May 2012)

Langridge brings the arc–it’s a journey arc, which is somewhat unexpected since there are so few navigation references in the issues–to a close. Once again, Langridge focuses on the action of the issue. The evil Gryphon finds the heroes and sets loose a sea monster on the ship. And, once again, Langridge uses it as an opportunity to develop the Walrus as a character. There are little character bits throughout the issue, but the end clarifies–it’s all about the Walrus. For that ending, Langridge unexpectedly promotes one of the supporting cast to more of a main role. Snarked has been … Continue reading Snarked 8 (May 2012)

Snarked 7 (April 2012)

I didn’t count but I don’t think the North Pole-South Pole romance in this issue took Langridge more than seven or eight panels. Spread throughout the issue, of course. But it’s a devastating little romance. It’s sweet, heartfelt and melancholic all at once. It’s quite lovely. This issue our heroes find themselves trapped on an island with the last surviving dodos. Everyone manages to get him or herself in a bit of trouble–except the usually troublesome little prince, actually–and Langridge keeps them moving. It all takes place–the island stuff, so not counting the first act–in a couple days. Langridge never … Continue reading Snarked 7 (April 2012)

Snarked 6 (March 2012)

Langridge presents the heroes with a single challenge–a single one they know about, Langridge opens the issue with the Gryphon’s plotting–and, over the course of the issue, creates a second one for them. He creates it subtly, but on the page, during a big action sequence. This issue introduces a pirate ship, crewed by familiar characters from Alice in Wonderland. Langridge gives them a lot of funny dialogue, making up for his regular cast being too busy in the action scene to have a proper conversation. It’s a rather good issue; the two crews give Langridge a lot of variety … Continue reading Snarked 6 (March 2012)

Snarked 5 (February 2012)

Langridge sets this entire issue–with the exception of the prologue featuring the villains–aboard ship. The heroes have set sail for dreaded Snark Island, but they haven’t told the crew where they’re going yet…. There’s also the matter of sea sickness, the Cheshire Cat popping in, an angry crocodile who follows the ship and then the crew themselves. Oh, and the little prince getting eaten by said crocodile. So, while the entire issue takes place in a day and most of it in a morning, Langridge manages to keep it quite full. He also gets in some excellent character work, particularly … Continue reading Snarked 5 (February 2012)

Adventure Time 1 (February 2012)

It’s impossible to explain Adventure Time‘s joyous insanity. The comic’s licensed–presumably the cartoon also owes a lot to “SpongeBob SquarePants” in terms of the lunacy–but the issue never feels derivative. It’s just nutty fun. It opens with an introduction to the characters, which isn’t particularly important (yet), and moves quickly into the first bit of craziness. Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb’s art is full of little details, complimented with writer Ryan North’s occasional footnotes talking to the reader about the page’s events. The two protagonists are purposefully infantile, but good natured and enthusiastic–it’s impossible not to enjoy their bantering. Some … Continue reading Adventure Time 1 (February 2012)

Snarked 4 (January 2012)

This issue of Snarked takes place over a day. Langridge opens with the cast finding a place to hide and closes it with them heading towards their rendezvous. In it, Langridge introduces a new character–who seemingly is only going to be in this issue–and spends a lot of time with carefully rhyming exposition. But it’s clearly a bridging issue. The next arc starts in the next issue and this one can’t help but read a little thin. Maybe it’s just the plot. The cast is trapped in closed quarters, hiding from the villains. There’s very little for them to do … Continue reading Snarked 4 (January 2012)

Peanuts 1 (January 2012)

Vicki Scott writes Lucy very well. Maybe even distressingly well. Scott writes two stories this issue, one featuring Lucy trying to get a song out of her head, the other Lucy teaching the reader how to draw Charlie Brown. In the first, Paige Braddock’s charming art sort of takes over. It’s well-written, but there’s a lot of visuals to draw one’s attention. In the art lesson, however, Lucy’s personality comes through and it’s great. Mean-spirited, yet amusing and appealing. The other story, from Shane Houghton and Matt Whitlock, is also good. Long story short, Snoopy gets roped into bloodhound duty … Continue reading Peanuts 1 (January 2012)

Snarked 3 (December 2011)

Half this issue is spent with Scarlett on a mission to burgle the castle. The other half is Walrus, McDunk and the prince trying to find the quartet suitable transport. Things do not go well for either set of characters. What’s particularly nice about this issue of Snarked, besides Langridge’s wonderful panels (one of his best, sadly, is one of the smallest panels in the issue), is the plotting. Langridge is clearly setting the series up for a big event, one for a collection (their mission is just taking shape), but he keeps each issue separate enough to work on … Continue reading Snarked 3 (December 2011)

Peanuts 0 (November 2011)

As a Peanuts fan, I was a little surprised to hear Kaboom! was doing a new series. I was hesitant, just because exploiting a franchise after its creator is gone seems… well, difficult. But, if this zero issue is any indication, Kaboom! is going to do a fine job. What’s best about the two original stories in the issue is their freedom from the Schulz strips, but also their reverence of them. Ron Zorman’s piece, set early in the Peanuts run, opens up a traditional strip. The comic page lets him change the visual pacing. The result is a “decompressed” … Continue reading Peanuts 0 (November 2011)

Snarked 2 (November 2011)

Langridge continues to build up Princess Scarlett in Snarked. She’s the only “good” person in the series, though the Walrus is showing himself to be… while not good, capable of adjusting his selfishness for the greater good. What’s most peculiar is actually how Langridge follows through on something. The issue opens with the threat of the Gryphon, a bounty hunter or some such, and then Langridge actually gets around to having the character appear. It’s an action issue. After the setups for the villains and the heroes, Langridge moves the action to the town’s business district. There everything else plays … Continue reading Snarked 2 (November 2011)

Snarked 1 (October 2011)

Langridge has a lot to do in the first issue of Snarked. I’d probably be lost if I hadn’t read the zero issue. But it’s not just a lot of little events he has to cover—Princess Scarlett becomes Queen and ends up in semi-exile, under the reluctant care of the Walrus and McDunk—he has to re-introduce the characters to everyone who hasn’t read the zero issue. The result is Scarlett being far more dynamic. Even though she’s nowhere near as visually interesting as the Walrus—a formally dressed walrus in a porkpie hat trumps all—Langridge knows she’s the issue’s center. It … Continue reading Snarked 1 (October 2011)

Space Warped 2 (July 2011)

I feel like the second issue of Space Warped is even stronger than the first. While the first issue set up to Star Wars knock-off set in a feudal land, this issue just gets to tell the jokes. This issue, the guys are on their way to rescue the Princess… sorry, the Lady. There are funny flying birds, bird poop jokes and a much stronger female character than in the original Star Wars. Since Bourhis is playing the series for laughs, he doesn’t have to worry about making anyone likable. He doesn’t exactly exaggerate the original characters, he just amplifies … Continue reading Space Warped 2 (July 2011)

Snarked 0 (August 2011)

I’ve been looking forward to Snarked since I first heard of it. I didn’t know anything about it, just it was a new original series from Roger Langridge. As it turns out, Snarked owes a lot to Lewis Carroll—both in the title and the characters of Walrus and McDunk (though McDunk gets named in Snarked, not from Carroll). The zero issue is half story and half back matter. The story is only ten or eleven pages and it’s absolutely wonderful, but more than wonderful, it’s filling. It feels like a full issue, hardly a half one. The back matter is … Continue reading Snarked 0 (August 2011)

Space Warped 1 (June 2011)

Space Warped is one of Kaboom!’s first titles (maybe their first title) and it’s a charming Star Wars riff from France. The art from Rudy Spieserrt is great, especially the expressions on the characters’ faces. He has a great sense of pacing the scenes, waiting for the joke, then the reaction. The one problem I see for it—besides it being funny without being uproarious, I mean Star Wars is thirty years old at this point and Space Warped doesn’t bring anything to the table Hardware Wars did—is the humor being a little too adult. Maybe kids in France get the … Continue reading Space Warped 1 (June 2011)