blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Rocky and Bullwinkle (2014) #1

Rocky and Bullwinkle  Rocky  Bullwinkle  1

I can’t decide if Rocky & Bullwinkle should or shouldn’t work as a comic book. Conceptually, I mean. I suppose I should mention it does work–and very well. Writer Mark Evanier and artist Roger Langridge adapt the source material’s sensibilities for the comics medium, which is exactly the way to go about adapting a property from another medium… yet so few ever do it.

The all-knowing narrator works well in exposition boxes; Evanier ups it with Bullwinkle becoming psychic. His predictions interact both with the narrative and how Langridge illustrates that narrative. Very cool stuff.

As for Langridge, I notice he’s working in a lot of simple, but intricate background activity. He’s keeping the reader’s eyes consuming even when the principals aren’t doing a lot.

And then there’s the Dudley Do-Right intermediate story. Evanier sets it up as a series of really funny, somewhat inappropriate jokes.

It’s an excellent comic.

2 responses to “Rocky and Bullwinkle (2014) #1”

  1. Matthew Hurwitz

    Kaboom! and IDW have really opened up a new golden age in kids’ comics. They can make something like “Garfield” palatable but when they work on stuff like this, Peanuts, Popeye or The Muppets, it’s easily the best 3rd-party-licensed storytelling ever done with the characters. Landridge being a powerfully skilled author at both companies, I was excited to pick up R&B and you’re right, it’s quality. Hearing modern references to eBay and Google is a little weird coming from Bullwinkle’s mouth, and there’s just a little much self-referential humor (although that was one of the TV show’s hallmarks) but otherwise it’s fantastic. Formatting the Dudley Do-Right story in between two parts of the R&B story – cliffhanger and all – is a masterstroke. Hopefully they get to play around with the other supporting stories from the TV show. Sherman & Peabody are probably taken because of the dumb movie, but Fractured Fairy Tales would be great. Here’s hoping Landrige writes some stories, and loosens up on the art – it’s skilled but almost too on-model. You can barely tell that it’s him except for the occasional mouth or eye detail, unlike his issue of Popeye. Definitely a series to follow.

    1. Yeah, I didn’t even realize it was Langridge until the day it came out. Agreed on the art–it’s good, but he’s so exacting on following the standard there’s not a lot of creativity. I think that’s why the backgrounds are so important; he’s using those to flex.

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