Last month at Wondercon I had the pleasure of meeting the man who calls himself Searnold. Searnold was in the small press section of the con, promoting his new comic Behind the Hero. Well, maybe “promoting” is too modest a term. Searnold practically grabbed me as I walked down the small press row at the con, he was so excited to promote his comic.
So I had to stop and chat with Searnold, who explained how Behind the Hero is a kind of reality show/super-hero take-off. In the 12 issues of this series, readers would learn all about the hero Speedee while his best friend Joshua follows Speedee around, filming his adventures. It seemed like a fun idea, and I was won over by Searnold’s enthusiasm, so I had to buy the comic.
And I’m so glad that I picked it up. Behind the Hero has a wonderfully fun and infectious sort of enthusiasm. The comic is a real joy to read. As promised, the story is light, breezy and fun. But Searnold also brings in a couple of mysteries that give the book some real spice and energy.
Speedee just can’t catch a break when trying to stop crimes. Each time he seems to be in the right place at the right time to stop an evil criminal, another new hero, Awesome Man, is always there before Speedee and ready to stop the criminals. Does Awesome Man have a connection to the nefarious villain The Time Master (that’s pronounced ‘thee’ not ‘thu’, dontcha know?)? Or is Speedee just plain unlucky?
It’s a real tribute to the enthusiasm of Searnold that readers care to learn the answers to those enigmatic questions at the same time as we giggle at Speedee’s predicaments.
Marcelo Salaza and Kal J. Moon deliver charming artwork to match the charming story. Salaza and Moon deliver art that’s light and cartoony but has a base of real energy behind it. They use static panels very effectively, presenting characters that seem to live and breathe inside the panels. The comic feels a bit like an animated cartoon, which is, of course, appropriate for this story.
I hope that Searnold, Salaza and Moon can deliver the full dozen issues of this series, because the first issue is a lot of fun. I’ll be looking for future issues, and I hope to be accosted at conventions by Searnold many times in the future.
You can read more about Behind the Hero at Searnold’s MySpace page.