In which I unwisely blurt out some words about a Spongebob comic. If yesterday's ridiculous farrago is any indication it will in fact really be about Tarot's chest and largely entail me shouting like a crazy person about people misusing the land in front of my house. Or maybe I got my boat to float this time out. Altogether now, Kids..! By Chabot, Kochalka, HiFi & Comicraft
SPONGEBOB COMICS ANNUAL-SIZE SUPER-GIANT SWIMTACULAR #2 Art by Israel Sanchez, Robert Leighton, Rick Neilsen, Jacob Chabot, Jose Delbo, Jay Lender, Nate Neal, R Sikoryak Written by James Kochalka, Mark Martin, Derek Drymon, Israel Sanchez, Jay Lender, Paul Karasik Coloured by HiFi, Glenn Whitmore, Mike DeVito Lettered by Comicraft United Plankton Pictures, $4.99 (2014) Spongebob created by Stephen Hillenburg
Cover by Israel Sanchez, logo by David Coulson
Comedy, like death, is no respecter of age and so like most comics, or water logged sponges, aimed squarely at the faces of children this also spatters adults; yes, both I and The Boy liked it Now, admittedly, I could be overestimating this comic’s worth for it was Spongebob Squarepants which finally dislodged such luminaries as Mr Tumble, The Wiggles and Bear in The Big Blue House from their positions of dominance in The Boy’s (and thus mine also, alas) televisual diet. As well intentioned and big hearted as infants’ television may be it is a fact that it soon reduces any adult mind to gruel. But once Spongebob Squarepants was on it was a mere hop, skip and a jump to Chowder and Flapjack before our minds finally slid to a stop in our current HD addled state of awe before Regular Show and Adventure Time. Me, I’m of a mind that such programmes seem to shame most adult shows but then my mind is probably still more than a little viscous. I have a lot of time for Spongebob Squarepants is what I’m getting at there. Even so this was still a neat little comic.
By Lender & DeVito
It’s a neat little comic because it’s made by people who know how to make comics and who clearly love comics. From the Super-Friends homage cover to the parodies of tropes and tat peddling ads inside there’s no doubt about a lack of love of the form on anyone's part. There is no such lack.The comic takes the form of a series of shorts set up by an intro in which the genially clear art by Jacob Chabot prevents the usual cloying nonsensicality of James Kochalka curdling on the page. Basically you’re reading a comic Spongebob is reading and although this illusion is somewhat spottily applied it is still applied well enough for you to get the gist. There’s a Mermaid Man tale in which Barnacle Boy swaps minds with a seahorse due to their both having been struck by Undersea Lightning (The rarest Lightning of all!) and confusion ensues. Should you not find the idea of underwater lightning, or even just the words Mermaid Man, slightly amusing then Jose Delbo and Derek Drymon’s well-turned tale will leave you as cold as the corpse you clearly are. There’s an Imaginary Story (because after all…) in which the grim’n’gritty is lampooned ludicrously and Jay Lender pushes comedy invention really hard in the small of its back by giving Spongebob a different costumed get-up in every panel. Alas, Israel Sanchez' effort revolving largely around excesses of ooze and gloop was more to The Boy’s taste than mine but it was to someone’s taste and even I liked it fine, it just didn’t shine. And then the book ends so strong it could well juggle boulders.
By Sikoryak & Karasik
Because get this, this comic, a children’s comic, ends with a mash up of Spongebob Squarepants and Fletcher Hanks’ Stardust executed by R Sikoryak and Paul Karasik. that’s right, R SIKORYAK! It is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, to steal from Keats (because I’m sure he’d agree were he to have read this comic.) Ah, it’s crazy and it’s beautiful is what it is. Obviously, and also tragically, you are not me so you might disagree on the merits of each of the episodes but even so humours remain high throughout thanks to Robert Leighton & Mark Martin. They scatter throughout a series of fake adverts which successfully riff on all those near illegally misleading exhortations for ridiculous junk you spent a Hell of a lot longer daydreaming about than you ever did revising for the exams which would shape your future. And by you I mean me. And those misplaced priorities more than anything might explain why a middle aged man is sitting here extolling the virtues of a comic about an exuberantly stupid talking sponge. However, I prefer to think it is because Spongebob Comics Annual-Size Super-Giant Spectacular #2 is VERY GOOD! Well, I would prefer to think that wouldn’t I?
And remember: Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? COMICS!!!