Comic Publishers

April 27, 2012
 

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: The Three Stooges, Cinnamoroll and Ice Age!

From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays, No. 94: Doberman Cop…not about dobermans

Welcome back to another week with From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays for a look at all ages comics! So, looking for a movie everyone can watch? Perhaps something with the title Doberman Cop would seem like a great idea, right? In fact, you’d be wrong. Doberman Cop has nothing to do with dobermans. In fact it’s a fairly good flick with Sonny Chiba kicking ass, filled with blood, sex, and a seedy-underworld meets seedy-entertainment industry plot. So yeah, my attempt to recommend you something all-age friendly to watch this week failed, but perhaps the adults out there reading this can still enjoy Doberman Cop without the kiddies around. Now what does that have to do with this week’s column? Nothing, but it made for an interesting opening, you have to admit. Now, down to this week’s titles!

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The Best of The Three Stooges Comic Books Volume 1
Publisher: Papercutz
Story and Art By: Norman Maurer and Pete Alvarado

Ah, reprints. Sometimes we get some quality gems dug up and reprinted, and this collection is no different. With the movie being released, Papercutz is publishing new Three Stooges graphic novels, and also reprinting their old material! Volume 1 of The Best of The Three Stooges Comic Books collects the first few issues of The Three Stooges comics published by St. John Comics and by Dell Comics.

The St. John Comics issues are done by Norman Maurer and the Dell issues are done by Pete Alvarado. The art styles on each are completely different, but at the heart of it all, script wise both flow and have all the slapstick gags that we have come to love from the Three Stooges.

Maurer’s issues feature Larry, Moe, and Shemp in a variety of situations, always crossing paths with Benedict Bogus, who is trying to swindle them out of cash and make a quick buck, just to get egg on his own face in the end after a series of events the Stooges go through. These issues also contain back-up stories with Lil Stooge, who is kind of like a Dennis the Menace kid stooge. Maurer’s art work looks nice and has some great detailing, the colors St. John used giving a great final package.

We then jump over to the Dell issues, just as funny, but Alvarado’s artwork is more simplistic, and the Dell coloring more simple and flat for the quick print. These issues feature the line up Larry, Moe, and Curly-Joe, and are heavier on the slap stick and less on the situational of the St. John issues. The Dell issues also have those great Dell photo covers, in which the Stooges posed themselves for original covers; they are not taken from stock footage or old press releases, so cool enough you can only find these shots of them on these covers. Interesting note, none of the issues, the Dell or the St. John, use Curly as the third Stooge due to their times of printing when Curly was not with them (hence one set has Shemp and the other Curly-Joe).

The book is just a collection of funny comics that everyone can laugh at. Papercutz has done a great job of using the original pages instead of re-coloring the comics like many reprints tend to do. This works in the benefit of this collection, aside from many reprints that look horrible after they do re-coloring jobs, we avoid it by not going that route. Yes, there is the occasional well-worn page, but it’s presented exactly how the books originally looked, and generates kind of a warm feeling of finding these lost treasures.

A highly enjoyable collection, we recommend picking up The Best of The Three Stooges Comic Books Volume 1.

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Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll Volume 2
Publisher: Viz Media (Viz Kids Line)
Story and Art: Yuki Tsukirino
Original Concept: Chisato Seki

Ah, yes. Fluffy, Fluffy, Cinnamoroll, which I believe I have called before the most over-the-top cute yet must-read comic book, is back again in a second volume packed with all-age goodness and tons of heart-warming, simply innocently fun stuff. It’s a comic where there is not a bad bone in its body, and it’s so fun, it becomes an addicting read that anyone is sure to love.

Volume 2 brings more adventures of Cinnamoroll, the flying dog from Sanrio’s Hello Kitty-universe, as he and his friends go on a variety of different adventures, and save the world on a few occasions from the bad guy, Cavity. Volume 2 introduces some new devices to keep the comics fresh, as Cavity makes more plays to take over the world from time to time between the purely innocent stories, which include magical hairpins for Mocha (which can transform her into anything for three minutes at a time), and a cradle for Milk, which allows him to dream and foresee into the future to warn his friends about what Cavity is going to try next. Aside from the “save the day stories,” other stories include things like birthdays, decorations, and a heart warming one where Cinnamoroll runs away from home, since Cavity is after him and always causing his friends trouble.

Writer/artist Tsukirino does a great job tackling the world of Cinnamoroll. For as simple as the character designs are, she always makes them look as good as possible, her design giving the manga a shoujo-feel. Also, her pacing of the stories is good, rotating us from the more classic tokusatsu set-ups to these charming everyday things.

Fluffy, Fluffy Cinnamoroll is sure to charm ya if you are unfamiliar with the characters. It’s cute, fun, and always leaves you wanting to read more (so really, what else do you need out of an all-ages title?). Out on stands now.

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Ice Age: Playing Favorites
Publisher: Boom! (Kaboom! Line)
Writer: Caleb Monroe
Art: Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb

Kaboom has rolled out another comic based off the Ice Age movie franchise with Ice Age: Playing Favorites. Manny and Ellie go off to celebrate their anniversary, and so they have left Peaches under the babysitting supervision of Sid, Diego, Crash, and Eddie. This leads to the four trying to prove which one is Peaches’s favorite, which leads to them all being trapped and having to work together to get out. Of course, while all of this goes on, we have that hysterical squirrel trying to get his walnut to much funny failure.

It’s a short little comedy that fans of the Ice Age films will like. Essentially it is the classic babysitting gone bad story recycled, but it does work in most spots, the writing by Monroe flowing well and giving us some nice moments between Manny and Ellie on their date. The art looks nice, and Paroline and Lamb have done good with translating these 3-D characters into 2-D and onto the page. The strength and best part of the comic is pretty much the same as it is in the movies, which are the sequences with that poor squirrel getting the snot beat out him or falling off a cliff, etc., to try and get his walnut. Just classic slapstick that works both on film and in the comics, and is done well here.

Ice Age: Playing Favorites is out now on stands.

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That’s it for this week, see you next! Until then, get your kaiju-game on!

Drew McCabe
drew@comicattack.net

Review copies of The Best of The Three Stooges Comic Books, Fluffy Fluffy Cinnamoroll, and Ice Age: Playing Favorites provided by their publishers.