Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spencer & Locke #1

   Like every right-thinking comic strip fan, I'm a huge fan of Calvin & Hobbes, which is (in my opinion) the greatest comic strip ever.

   It has inspired a number of comics, all trying to capture its creativity and manic sense of wonder.

   The latest in the list of homages is Spencer & Locke, which offers a different take on the concept of a boy whose stuffed animal comes to life when no one else is around (or alternately, it's about a boy who is friends with an intelligent talking tiger who seems to be just a stuffed animal to the rest of the world).

   But this is a dark vision of the concept. Young Locke (seen in Watterson-esque flashbacks) grows up to be a detective, and his partner is a "real" panther, Spencer.

   This is not a happy, optimistic series - it's about murder and dark plots and an unhappy childhood.

   I'm on the fence with this one. On one hand, it's well crafted and manages to represent (and replicate) elements of the strip it's based on with great skill.

   On the other hand, it's a perversion of the work Bill Watterson crafted over decades of work - and I'm not sure how comfortable I am following a series that is based note for note on another creator's work.

   It's well-crafted, but I'm not sure it's well-intentioned - or in good taste.

   Your mileage may vary!

Grade: B-


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