From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.116: Classic Characters, But New Hot Comics!
Hey there readers, and welcome back to your weekly source for all-age comics, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week we take a look at two comics, both based off classic characters (a comic strip and a children’s book collection), who this past year were both given the comic book treatment, and their stuff in this week’s column is quality in both cases! Let’s get down to it!
Viz Kids rolls out their strongest comic book take yet on the classic Mr. Men and Little Miss series with Mr. Strong: Good Thing I Came Along. Like previous collections, this one contains several stories, but this group starring Mr. Strong keeps us at a quick pace with more traditional “hero saves the day” comic book stuff, keeping it both fast moving with fun, as well as the most accessible to American comic book readers.
In “The Wild, Wild West,” Mr. Strong saves cattle to train as the Mr. Men and Little Miss cast go classic wild west style. In “Off to the Races!,” Little Miss Daredevil seems to be having some car trouble in a great race, and Mr. Strong’s strength may be the key to her winning. In the two-parter titled “Follow That Dog!,” Mr. Strong chases after Little Miss Whoops’s dog named Biscuit. The chase takes him across the globe, dealing with pirates and airships along the way, to bring the puppy back home. In “Mr. Storng’s Dinner Party,” we get a comical tale of Mr. Strong trying to create the perfect dinner party for his friends. Finally, in “Super Strong!,” Mr. Strong has become so use to saving the town that when he sees a signal that he thinks is the strong-signal, it’s off to work he goes.
The writing by Kenny and Todd on these tales is stellar. All of them were entertaining and well written, laughs and gags abound. I didn’t find one beat missed in this set of stories, and was delightfully surprised both with their content and the improvement from the previous Mr. Men comics. On the art ork side, Corbera does great things here. Yes, his Mr. Men and Little Miss look like how they should, but the color choices and composition he chooses in each panel just make everything gel together and pop so nicely!
To sum up, Mr. Strong: Good Thing I Came Along from writing to art is just a great all-ages comic! It holds its own and is sure to entertain you, and is a great jump forward from the last two Mr. Men and Little Miss comics that were put out. This delightful book is a must read, and hopefully Viz can continue to propel the series in this great direction.
Available now in print from Viz.
Once again we visit Garfield in this column, and as of issue #6, I am overjoyed to find that this title is still a good read and the most consistent all-ages comic this year in terms of quality. It continues its flawless track record of coolness since its first issue a few months ago, with an all new Halloween themed issue just in time for this month!
Issue #6 features two stories for us readers. In the first, “The Pharaoh’s Pet,” Garfield and pals are at the museum, when our favorite cat gets a little bored and picks on Nermal for a bit. After he’s done with that, they explore the ancient Egypt exhibit, where Garfield both fantasizes about the royalty of cats, as well as their penultimate fate back then. Everything is going fine until Odie’s tongue brings a mummy-cat back to life somehow, which then begins roaming the streets of town, and finds its way back to Garfield! In “Trick or Treatment,” we are treated to tale with non-stop laughs as Garfield gets mad that Jon won’t give him any of the Halloween candy, and so develops a scheme using a voice recorder and multiple costumes to cash in on the holiday. However, a chain of events ensues, and I don’t want to write much more without hitting all the spoilers, but the story ends on a nice chunk of hilarious notes.
Overall, issue #6 is just great. I can’t say anything about it was bad, because it was all good material. I can’t even say it was an improvement over previous issues, because as I mentioned at the opening, this has just been a consistently fantastic run since the first issue. Evanier rocks his writing. Decarlo, Barker, and Davis all employ grade-A art. It’s the kind of thing that hopefully has original strip creator Jim Davis smiling ear to ear that his creation has been given such an amazing delivery on the comic book page that is both true to his own work and a quality book in its own right. Buy yourself a copy, your friend a copy, and if you have the money, a few more copies for the heck of it being it knocks the ball right out of the park still.
Available in both print and digital from Boom!
That’s it for this week! See you next, and until then, get your kaiju-game on!