Hello and welcome back to another edition of From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, where all the cool kids go to get their all-ages comics 4-1-1, yo (yes, it was completely unnecessary to throw in that “yo”). This week kicked off with Halloween, which was pretty swell. Last week’s column I mentioned I was going to be the Green Ranger, but SNAFU!!!!!!!!! The helmet would not arrive on time, leaving me with a Green Ranger body but no mask. Well that just wouldn’t do for me, so I decided to save that trick for a costume party or drunk ‘n disorderly night at a Denny’s, and switch plans. Regulars of the column should not be surprised that I went as the monster/alien-fighting Mexican wrestling and super hero known as Santo!!!!!!!!!
Alls-in-alls, a good time being the Enmascardo de Plato all night instead. So there’s my Halloween update from this past weekend! And now onto the real deal here in the column, this week’s books you should be checking out!
As I read this book, a smile from ear to ear grew across my face. I said earlier this year when I read the graphic novel version of Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown how good it felt to see Charlie Brown back in comics, and the same rings true here, truer still with these mini-adventures feeling just right for that Peanuts gang we know and love. Like Kaboom!’s issue #0 preview of Snarked!, issue #0 of Peanuts serves as a fun preview issue for the low price of one American dollar, which gets us two new Peanuts stories, some classic reprints, and a preview of Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown if you haven’t picked the latter up yet.
The two new tales, one by Ron Zorman and one by Vicki Scott, are humorous, sweet, and feel right at home with the classic Peanut laughs we have come to love. Also speaking of classics, we get classic comics from the great Schulz himself, giving us roots and that at home old school feel. Obviously the newer stuff has a modern day page layout, and the classic reprints have that traditional layout of yesteryear’s comics, but all of it is quality, and that’s what matters here. Peanuts art and laughs are all grade-A!
On a side note, I’m happy to see the Kaboom! line swing back into place. I was getting worried; just as I became fond of them, Disney gave a ton of characters to Marvel, leaving Kaboom! with seemingly nothing but Darkwing Duck (which is a great book). But then Rescue Rangers was sadly cancelled, Duck Tales…well that was probably the worst start to a comic book in the past ten years. However, suddenly Snarked! came and was amazing, and now we are getting another amazing comic art serving with Peanuts! Things are on the up once again, and with books like Peanuts, their future hopefully will be safe.
Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken is some funny stuff. Composed of mostly 2-3 page stories, followed by an long story (titled “The Biggest Giantest Epicest Pirate Penguin Versus Ninja Chicken Stroy EVAR!”), the comic is a classic gag-comic starring obviously a penguin who’s a pirate, a chicken who’s a ninja, and their friends. It is the funnies for all the 20-something Generation-Ys out there, with its humor strongly driven by the silliness of their chatter in their given situations, which usually leads to them beating the snot out of each other. The art is a simpler cartoon style, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s a gag strip. Less is better; Ray Friesen knows what he’s doing and is not trying to be Moebius.
Simply folks: I liked it. Friesen’s characters made me laugh and I enjoyed the read. His “epic” story at the end was enjoyable, and it’s cool to see these normally short-length characters in long length form. Things I loved: Cosmonaut Capybara fighting Astronaut Armadillo, the Epilogue, lobsters on the fritz, fighting over a puppy, stuffed animal versions of the characters, and the pantomime-esque section of Pirate Penguin trying to destroy Ninja Chicken’s card castle. Things I hated: I didn’t. It’s Spy vs. Spy meets Strong Bad Emails, and unless you’ve killed your inner child, you can’t hate a combination like that.
It’s all here if you want a good laugh. Pirate Penguin Vs. Ninja Chicken: Troublems With Frenemies is out now, pick it up!
That’s it for this week, see you next! Sending you kaiju-love from Africa!
A copy of Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken: Troblems With Frenemies was provided by Top Shelf Productions. A copy of issue zero of Peanuts was provided by Boom! Studios.