ADVANCE REVIEW! Snarked! #0 will release in August 2011, but you can get your retailer to order it by June 31, 2011.
Snarked! #0 will only cost a dollar, so you have no excuse.
For a guy that's only shown up on most people's radars over the past few years, Roger Langridge is shaping up to be one of the greats. Like Carl Barks on Donald Duck, Langridge has shown an amazing talent to make other people's characters his own thanks to transcendent work on titles like The Muppet Show Comic Book and Thor: The Mighty Avenger.
Snarked!, his newest comic, is a creator-owned book, albeit one playing off of Lewis Carroll's poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" insofar that the main characters include a Walrus and a Carpenter, respectively named Wilburforce J. Walrus and Clyde McDunk. Together, the two are a classic Hollywood comedy team -- the well-dressed Wilburforce is always concocting schemes to get money and the working class Cylde is a bit of a doofus with one bottom tooth perpetually sticking out of his mouth.
In this #0 preview issue, we get an eight-page story of the pair pretending to be ballet instructors for the local Princess in order to seal some food that introduces us to our major players -- the walrus, the carpenter, the King's two children -- as well as ideas driving the series, including the main characters antics and the fact that the King's been missing for a really long time.
The Muppet Show Comic Book proved Langridge's talent for comic book comedy, and Snarked! continues that with such gems like the local newspaper's sports page covering matches between giant chess pieces and Wilburforce remarking that he's often licked the back of the princess's head in the form of a commemorative stamp.
Like most all-ages comics often do, Langridge spends little time making us get to know the characters, instead choosing to just let the wheels turn and show them in action. You don't have to read any sort of introductory Archie story; you just pick the thing up at any point and figure out who's who pretty quick.
Most of the book is kooky bonus material like sketches, a diary entry from the King's daughter, a retelling of the Carroll poem by Langridge, cute activities and a letters page composed of messages from characters in the book, including a hilariously incoherent note from Clyde. While most of Snarked! #0 isn't comic book, it's all entertaining.
As a release meant to entice readers for an upcoming Snarked! #0 certainly does its job by delivering a equal doses of amusing antics and fun bonus material that actually makes up for the lack of comic book content instead of highlighting it. The existence of Snarked! took me by surprise, but now I've got a great comic to look forward to this fall.
Danny Djeljosevic is a comic book writer, award-winning filmmaker, film/music critic for Spectrum Culture and Co-Managing Editor of Comics Bulletin. Follow him on Twitter as @djeljosevic or find him somewhere in San Diego, often wearing a hat.
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