What Did I Learn?
This is a mini review of Stupendo Dog by Joie Simmons, Fooksie and Nick Hadley. This color comic is about a superhero dog complete with mask, deep shadows and cape.
This might sound strange, but I appreciated the simplicity of the work. Some comics go for lots of detail or panel gimmicks or fancy colors or other complexity in order to entertain. Not that complexity is bad, but I think you’ll agree that conveying a graphic narrative as simply as possible is also a fine goal to have.
Take, for example, the flat colors. Well, they are almost flats since there are a few soft shadows thrown in most panels. A quick glance would read “flat” and the line work is just sturdy enough to hang the colors onto.
And then there are the simple layouts. You can see an improvement from the earlier strips to later strips with panel flow and reader direction. And it’s only as consistent as it needs to be. Some comics have the characters so tightly drawn that you can’t see them any other way. Try to mentally give Archie a longer chin or nose? It just looks wrong. Is there really a need for Archie to look pixel perfect? (Now, I know there have been lots of artists that have drawn Archie over the years and there probably are some variations – but – Archie still looks identical as when he was created.)
Now, when I initially started to write this review, I wanted to say that this comic reminded me of all the things I like about Archie comics. I always edit that right out, since I don’t want to cheapen the webcomic under review by doing that. They always deserve a fresh look.
In this case, though, I must have been picking up on the Archie vibe. I went looking for “how many artists have drawn archie” and found a review on the same site talking about the creator’s favorite Archie artists. That’s symmetry. I like symmetry. It explains the influence that I picked up on subconciously.
The new inker, Nick Hadley has an inked page to peek at from the upcoming Stupendo Dog #5. Along with the slightly shadowed color, adding a new inker alters the dynamic slightly which may help those of you who detest Archie comics.
What Did I Learn?
The world, to this old fuddy duddy, is growing more and more complex. It’s a nice, relaxing treat to find a comic that is comfortable to read, doesn’t strain to make you laugh and can just exist without having to put forth a lot of effort. Stupendo Dog to the rescue!