From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.148
Hello and welcome back to our all-ages comics column on the site, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! I’m your columnist, Drew McCabe! Remember when there was a phase when “comics” in the 1990s was spelled “comix” by things like Disney Adventures and such, for everyone to jump on board and in their own 90210-coolness embrace a little geekiness? Man, am I glad that trend wore off. So what does that have to do with this week’s column? Nothing!!!!!! Let’s just get down to some titles you should check out this Memorial Day weekend!
Papercutz has rolled out another volume of Peyo’s The Smurfs, as they celebrate and pump up their Summer of Peyo, leading on towards another Smurfs movie coming to cinemas soon! The latest volume, starring those favorite little blue guys, has a nice long form tale that introduces some new characters to the Smurf family, the Smurflings!
In “The Smurflings,” a trip to Father Time’s place accidentally changes a group of Smurfs into young Smurflings. However, with this age change comes a little mischief, and the Smurflings certainly get into it. Noticing Smurfette is down about being the only female Smurf, the smurflings steal Gargamel’s original creation spell in an attempt to create their own, birthing Sassette! However, there is a flaw in Gargamel’s notes, and the whole Smurf village could be in trouble! The volume also contains three other tales including “Puppy and the Smurfs,” where Homnibus’s puppy ends up in Smurf village one morning. After a chat with Homnibus, the Smurfs can keep the puppy and it turns out he has a magic collar that only one person can unlock the key to command, which comes in handy when Gargamel makes his move. The volume then rounds off with two shorter stories, “The Smurfs and the Little Ghosts” and “The Smurfs and the Booglooboo,” both comical as ghosts and a very pesky bird aid the smurfs against Gargamel in both different and hysterical ways.
As we get into these later Smurf volumes, volume 15 here definitely sticks out as one of the stronger ones thanks to Peyo mixing it up plot wise with new characters, answering fan-questions (i.e., can another Smurfette be created), and of course his miraculous looking art that puts an uncanny smile on any reader’s face. Still, no matter if you are picking up this or another volume, every volume of The Smurfs is always a good time for readers of all-ages, and over the past few years there hasn’t been a bad one in the bunch. In fact, it is on of the few titles to make it on our top all-ages list in both 2011 and 2012, which says volumes about the always spot on good time one has with this comic series.
The Smurfs Vol.15 is out now in print and digital from Papercutz.
Regular Show hit the stands last week from Boom!, who has had an excellent track record with their all-ages titles! Based off the popular Cartoon Network show, there is some quality laugh-out-loud stuff packed in these pages.
The main story starts off with Mordecal and Rigby working a benefit concert, where Rigby keeps trying to eat the garbage they are picking up (which is quite funny, actually). Muscle Man shows up in his golf cart and decides this lame concert could benefit from him ripping off his shirt and causing a little mosh pitting! The mosh pit causes a rip in the dimensional gap between the opposite music sets, and pretty much all hell breaks loose, leaving our heroes on a cliffhanger to be continued next issue. The issue also contains the back up story “Thrill Baby,” which contains some antics on a roller coaster that I don’t want to give away here because it’d blow the whole thing for you before reading.
Now yes, a lot of folks would like to sell you on it being in the same vein as Adventure Time, and if you want to make that comparison, it pretty much ends at the fact that they both air on Cartoon Network and are both really funny. Regular Show is a different animal from Adventure Time, so do not pick it up thinking you’re getting the same thing. Keeping that in mind and stated, it is still quite funny and has some of the most eye-addicting color combinations splashed across its artwork, making the simple look stunning. The incredibly weird plot is funny enough for adults, safe enough for kids, and succeeds in leaving you wanting to read the next issue.
If I have one complaint, it is that the comic flies by way too fast. You’re done in under ten minutes, a very funny ten minutes if it’s the right humor for you, but done in ten minutes tops. This leaves me looking at the $3.99 cover price and thinking that unless you are a die-hard for this show, it’s more worth it to wait until a collected edition arrives, where yes, you pay a few bucks more, but the entertainment to dollar value is there since it’ll be cheaper to get a chunk of issues that way.
Regular Show will keep its regular fans happy (oh, what a terrible pun I just wrote), and is available now in print and digital from Boom!
Issue #33 of DC’s Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? is a ton of fun that will please fans of all sorts, as we continue along with the teen-sleuths and their canine companion in three great stories that compose the swank issue.
We start off with a bang and the strongest of the bunch, titled “Monsters of Rock,” in which world famous rock band Smooch is being haunted at their concerts by the ghost of Johnny B. Badd. Sick of this, those hardened rockers call on the crew to solve the case. Of course, part of the fun with this story is from the make-up style, as Smooch is modeled after Kiss and Johnny B. Badd is modeled after Jonny Cash, giving us all sorts of winks ‘n nods as the story unfolds across the pages. “The Phantom of the Rock Club” finds Velma in a short solo adventure as she goes to investigate a ghost that has started to plague her friend’s rock band. Lastly, “The Beat of the Bayou Beast” finds our gang down South tracking down a swamp monster that has been terrorizing a Gumbo restaurant trying to get back on its feet.
The writing on all the stories was great, as mentioned the standout is “Monster of Rock.” The only way that story could have had its coolness factor cranked up would have been if they were able to get the rights to use Kiss (although I’m sure those are fully tied-up between IDW and Archie), however, everything else was such a home run for the story. “The Beat of the Bayou Beast” was fantastic as well, giving us a location of a different flavor and a really fun chase sequence to enjoy. The weakest out of the bunch is “The Phantom of the Rock Club,” which has good writing, but the art looks really rushed, which is a shame because it has a cool gimmick at the end of flipping the comic around to figure out the answer to the mystery which was an inventive touch.
To sum it all up, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? has proven to be one of the more addicting all-ages reads this year that you should check out. Available in print from DC Comics.
That’s it for this week, folks, see you next!