This is a unique comic book hitting the marketplace at the moment, evoking memories of such classic British comics as Whizzer and Chips and The Beezer. It features superb narrative set pieces and characterisation and a vibrant and bold artistic style. It is, to be frank, one of the engaging and enjoyable reads of the year. The writer Peter Duncan is steeped in a great love for British comic books and manages to capture the elusive magic of that era’s humour.
What would you get if you mixed Beano’s Bash Street Kids with evil inter dimensional ancient gods? Well Peter Duncan and Andrew Pawley’s Cthulhu Kids comes up with the answer. This is an extremely clever and well written comic which melds the feeling of some of the best moments of classic UK comic writing with a tribute to Lovecraftian creations. These mini terrors go to the ather exclusive school, the Miskatonic Academy for Outer Entities. Here begins the high jinks of various infamous monsters such as Dagon jr, Sydney the shape changing Shoggoth and of course the titular Cthulhu (jr).
The artwork is vivid and packed with character, it saturates visual appeal and looks gorgeous. The panels are packed with detail and some wonderful in-jokes. Each character is designed in a memorable fashion. There’s a wonderful sense of cuteness which belies the monstrous nature which originated in the twisted depths of Lovecraft’s mind.
From the first day at school through to staging a play each of the scenarios are familiar to all of us. Peter has tapped into what made strips from Whizzer and Chips and The Beezer so memorable. Capturing this elusive and unique sense of humour is an incredible feat. Blending the accessible, the preposterous and the humorous is an almost impossible process but each of these elements has been injected successfully into the narrative.
There’s also an incredible amount of fun bound up in all of this technical achievement. Each setup and conclusion can’t fail to bring a smile to your face and is the perfect remedy for the serious times we live in. I picked the perfect time to read this, after a stressful day at work. Simply poring through the pages and the colourful artwork made me feel better. We really need more comics like this to promote a resurgence of clever humour.
I have kept making references to the comic book past during this review. Although it’s undeniable that the influences of classic comics are present. This is also a new entity, it doesn’t ape what has gone before but rather pays tribute and propels the genre into the modern era. There’s a passion and intelligence to the design of the characters and the synthesis between the narrative of writing and artwork which is astonishing.
I highly recommend picking up this comic book. It’s been one of my favourite reads of the year so far. Inventive and unique, this is the kind of work we need to encourage to bring fun back into our comic shops.
Check out the official Cthulhu Kids Facebook Page
Cthulhu Kids can be purchased here