Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
Quick Rating: Great
Title: How Doth the Little Crocodie?
Princess Scarlett sets sail for the Snark Island – but will her crew be able to stomach the trip?
Writer: Roger Langridge
Art: Roger Langridge
Colors: Lisa Moore
Cover Art: Roger Langridge & Matthew Wilson
Editor: Bryce Carlson
Publisher: Boom! Studios/kaboom!
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 Rusty’s missing father… unless the crew decides Snark Island isn’t 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. Langridge’s use of panel borders actually progresses the story rather than simply frames it, and his use of cutaways here is entertaining as any visual you’d 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 isn’t just funny, it’s also got serious literary merit. From the poetry (often humorous, and if you don’t think that’s hard try writing some yourself) that that is frequently used to express backstory to the way that backstory itself enhances what’s going on in the main plot, this is far more than a simple children’s 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 didn’t 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.
The kaboom! imprint has been on the move lately, securing comic book rights to Peanuts and Garfield 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.