Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
How Doth the Little Crocodie?
Princess Scarlett sets sail for the Snark Island Ė but will her crew be able to stomach the trip?
Roger Langridge & Matthew Wilson
Princess Scarlett, along with Wilburforce J. Walrus and Clyde McDunk and her brother Rusty, has gotten her crew together. This year, the Old Gertrude
sets sail for Snark Island, and hopefully, for clues about Scarlett and Rustyís missing fatherÖ unless the crew decides Snark Island isnít the place for them.
Once again, this issue helps us get to the heart of what makes Roger Langridge
such a powerful storyteller. The story, the comedy, the artwork, all maintains a wonderfully light and gleeful quality. Langridgeís use of panel borders actually progresses
the story rather than simply frames it, and his use of cutaways here is entertaining as any visual youíd see in the pages of Mad
magazine during its glory days. The visual behind the new character, Bootsie, is a perfect gag, classic Tex Avery or Chuck Jones-style comedy that fits seamlessly into a world based on Lewis Carroll. The combination of influences makes for a highly unique comic book.
But the story isnít just funny, itís also got serious literary merit. From the poetry (often humorous, and if you donít think thatís hard try writing some yourself) that that is frequently used to express backstory to the way that backstory itself enhances whatís going on in the main plot, this is far more than a simple childrenís tale. While books like the Alice
novels Langridge uses as his foundation could easily be read as nonsense for children, young readers these days have a sophistication that didnít used to be true. Langridge responds by giving this story layers, depth, and sadness that is by no means evident when you look at the cover and see a crocodile playing with a pacifier and licking his lips.
imprint has been on the move lately, securing comic book rights to Peanuts
and scoring a hit with Adventure Time
, but it would be criminal to ignore this title, the best of the lot, and one that I truly believe will stand the test of time.