The Red King has been missing for some time, something his conniving inner circle wish to take advantage of by taking control of the land. Only two things stand in their way, The King’s young children, Scarlett and Rusty. Observing their plight, a certain smiling Cheshire Cat hooks them up with the wily but big hearted Wilburforce J. Walrus and his companion, Clyde McDunk The Carpenter. Against the rascally duo’s better judgement, they take the children under their respective wings, all the while being drawn in to ever escalating adventures.
Roger Langridge isn’t hugely well known amongst comic fandom in general (when measured in comparison to the likes of, say, Mark Millar) but is a talented, Harvey Award winning cartoonist, who over the years has worked at 2000AD, Marvel and produced great work on Boom Studios The Muppet Show comic.
Now he’s at KaBOOM, an imprint of Boom Studios, producing his own book, Snarked! But interestingly the world of Snarked! is in actual fact amalgamated from various tales and poems by Lewis Carroll. That might sound awfully literary and complex, but don’t let that put you off, because it really isn’t. This reviewer for one has read exactly zero works by Carroll, but found Snarked! a pleasure and a breeze.
Langridge uses Carroll’s adventures (namely The Walrus and The Carpenter, Through the Looking Glass and The Hunting of The Snarks) as a springboard to weave his own tale that is dependent on no knowledge of the characters other than what is presented within the story.
And what fun it is; not fresh and contemporary, as is usual with books that receive such critical kudos as Snarked! has had, but rather a classic feeling cartoon that would sit nicely next to Popeye, Felix The Cat and Asterix the Gaul, which is interesting, I think, as another book that is getting huge praise is Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil, which too is a book that takes a more classic approach to a character. Is this something the fans are wanting more of in these times of reboots and crossovers? Old fashioned adventures? One suspects so.
Be that as it may, the artwork in Snarked! is funny, charming, consistent and everything we’ve come to expect from the very best cartoonists, and so too is the writing, delivering about as much fun as you could want from a comic that is suitable for readers of all ages.
We aren’t now, as a generation, the sort that sit around on a Sunday afternoon as a family and read the funny papers, but reading Snarked! at least instils in the reader a little of that wholesomeness, which can’t be a bad thing, but more importantly, it’s simply a funny and ripping yarn which can be enjoyed by all, and most definitely has me looking forward to volume two.
B+ grade – for storytelling
B grade – for artwork
B grade – for humour
Overall grade – B