Hey there readers, and welcome back to your source for all-ages comics, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week is one of those weeks where the comics coming out are solid and worth tracking down, and remind us new and creative stuff is coming out on the all-ages scene, which is fantastic. Let’s get down to it!
Holy crap, this title was awesome! I wouldn’t have imagined a comic about a donut shop could be so much fun, but Chris Eliopoulos has given us a book that only fails in the fact there is nothing here to not love, which basically means it’s a winner.
Our setting is Okie Dokie Donuts, the hottest donut shop in town, run by the fantastic Big Mama (no relation to Big Mama in the manga Sorcerer Hunters) and her helper Henry. Crowds everyday come in masses to get a variety of donuts baked with Big Mama’s love at an exhausting pace. After one tiresome but rewarding morning, Mr. Mayweather from the Great Cooks Cooking Corporation comes to push their latest invention on Big Mama, hoping it will help out the donut shop’s business: a giant cooking robot named Mr. Baker. What seems easy – put ingredients in and he churns out – turns out bad when Henry in his clumsiness dumps some garbage into Mr. Baker, causing the robot to start spouting the grossest donuts of all time and create a huge mess! Things then get even more challenging as the lunch time crowd moves in, so Mr. Mayweather comes back and Mr. Baker gets plugged back in.
Eliopoulos’s art is stunningly hip, fun, and a stylish treat for the eyes. Every page was enthralling to look at and I read the book cover to cover without putting it down. His writing is cute and fun, the perfect Saturday morning cereal in comic format. Adults like me can dig this, especially while reading it with your kids who, after I showed the book to a few youngsters as a test, will also eat up the art and light-heartedness of the comic.
The long-short is that Okie Dokie Donuts: Open For Business! is a fantastic book that you should pick up as soon as you can. Fans of things from newspaper comics to Hanna-Barbera cartoons and so forth can find something here in these pages that they will re-read, making it a much loved book on their shelves.
A fantastic first issue of a very cool series, Snarked! by Roger Langridge is a wonderful title. Unlike Tim Burton’s recent film take on Wonderland, which felt like a very uninspired play off of Narnia, Langridge reinvents Wonderland into a fantastic comical place filled with Old World style and comic laughs. The first issue sets up everything we need to know as it paints its magical world. In Snarked!, the king has been missing for some time now and a new ruler needs to be crowned, which leaves his young daughter and toddler son. However, some baddies lurk in the shadows trying to make things work out for themselves so they can take over the kingdom. The Cheshire Cat, legendary protector of the family, shows up and guides the children to stay clear from danger, and to find the Walrus and the Carpenter to lead them on a journey and protect them as they search for their father. Too bad for the children the Walrus and Carpenter are a pair of swindlers who, with the trick of the tongue or swipe of the hand, pull off tons of deals for them and them only. However, the Cheshire Cat thinks these two may just have the hearts of gold buried that they need to save the day.
If this were a kung-fu battle, I’d look at Langridge and simply go “Your Snarked! is strong, quite strong!” I don’t think it’s an over assessment to make a statement like “Snarked! is the best single issue out so far this month,” because it is when put against other issues out there of both all-ages and adult series. The writing is solid and fun. It doesn’t try to be Wonderland, it tries and wins at being its own thing that just happens to use Wonderland characters. The dynamic of the children and knowing they are going to be paired up with the duo of the Walrus and the Carpenter leave us on a note of wanting to come back to the next issue as soon as we can. Also, Langridge’s art is fantastic on this series, too! I love the designs, especially the classic look of the Cheshire Cat. So when it’s hip and has good writing with solid laughs, that equals a must buy, right? Right. And that’s what this is.
Your mission, if you accept, is to go out to the stands and buy the first issue of Snarked!
That’s it for this week, see you next! Sending you kaiju-love from the South Pacific!
A copy of Okie Doki Donuts:Open For Business! was provided by Top Shelf Productions. A copy of issue one of Snarked! was provided by Boom! Studios.