Comic Review: Snarked #1

Snarked #1
Created by Roger Langridge
Written and Illustrated by Roger Langridge
Colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, Matthew Wilson
Covers by Roger Langridge, Chris Samnee
BOOM! Studios
Release Date: October 5, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

All-ages comics are an interesting genre. A creator must be able to tell a story that can appeal to a wide age-range while also keeping it visually and thematically dynamic. More often than not creators try to use broad strokes to tell their all age’s story. If you are trying to make something for a broad demographic, why not use universally funny or silly concepts so everyone can appreciate it, right? But the issue is that while trying to capture these collectively “funny” or “childlike” themes writers often lose control of a story just they can throw in another gag. Luckily Roger Langridge‘s Snarked avoids this pitfall and tells a smart, quirky, and most importantly fun story that anyone can appreciate.

Snarked begins with the introduction of Wilburforce J. Walrus, a lovable rogue and his carpenter companion Clyde McDunk. Now it goes without saying that Langridge’s characters are heavily influenced by the work of Lewis Carroll, you cannot place a walrus and a carpenter within a 50-mile vicinity of one another without comparisons being drawn. As the walrus and the carpenter go about their dastardly business we are also introduced to newly crowned Queen Scarlett and her brother Rusty. Queen Scarlett’s father has been out at sea for six months and the kingdom is in disarray because of it.  With the help of the Cheshire cat who we are told is the unofficial guardian of the royal family, Scarlett and Rusty head out on an adventure to rescue their father and bring peace to the kingdom.

What sounds like a simple enough story is anything but that, Langridge is reinventing some of the most classic characters in fiction and placing them in a new and fresh story that is told with near perfect comedic precision. In issue # 1 of Snarked we are introduced to at least seven new characters that all carry a different set of personality traits and ambitions.  Snarked is taking classic characters that we are all on some level familiar with and rebranding them with personalities that left me rooting for the heroes and hissing at the villain’s. Snarked takes a linear story line and fills it with vivid and witty characters that are a true testament to Roger Langridge’s ability as an all age’s writer.

Roger Langridge’s magical kingdom by the sea is beautifully illustrated and colored with all the craftsmanship that a truly talented cartoonist has. Snarked is filled with richly detailed characters and flat colored landscapes that are never overwhelming in their artistic direction yet visually compelling all at once.  The character design shows all the traits of a classic cartoon, the scoundrels with hearts of gold are chubby and waddling, the evil royal advisors are thin and wart covered. Sure they are cliché body types, but the formulas worked for decades and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Snarked is quickly on it’s way to becoming a classic for all age’s comic’s, it’s not often that a creator can take characters that have been done to death and breathe new life into them. Roger Langridge is telling a story that is simple enough for children to follow yet filling it with such witty and detailed characters that parent’s will adore it in equal amounts.


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