Moose Kid Comics launches today: a digital anthology comic for kids. Lucky kids. Disgustingly lucky, doubtless ungrateful, giddy, excitable kids. I’m not joking: I feel actual slight nausea at the positivity-rush I would have got from this bonanza as a lass. Jamie Smart, you canny fuck.
The creative force is ridiculously strong in this one. From the page-long strip (excerpt below) by T. Paterson (that T. Paterson, one must assume), to the YOUNG TANK GIRL — I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to shout. The YOUNG TANK GIRL — It’s no use! YOUNG TANK GIRL. YOUNG TANK GIRL! Alan Martin and Warwick Johnson Cadwell doing a Young Tank Girl strip, so that your children — the future leaders and lovers of this world — can grow up reading peer-age Tank Girl. Dang.
There are names that will be new to you (who cares about previous I guess, it’s all new to an eight year old) but they’ve all earnt their spot. The colours are universally lush, deft lines all over: this is a triumph of art and a vessel for hijinks. Jokes about farts and bums and smells and sick in there with existential loss, quests, career advice, and harsh warnings on the dangers of wizards. You’ll laugh, you probably won’t cry, but your little sister might.
…Of laughter. There are cute bits for your gentler souls to rest upon while they gear up for the next joyful repulsion. That’s important to note, because I won’t lie; when I was little I’d get a bit over-egged on the dangerous world of pranks to be found inside the non-girl comics. It’s not that I didn’t like slime or tricks. It just began to feel like the world was unsafe. Everywhere you turn, another rotter laughing in your face! This comic is well-balanced, and I’m grateful. There are rest stops for the over-stimulated in other ways, too. The Anomalies appear throughout, as well as a few one-panel cartoons by Smart. Filling the margins with bonus content feels like providing stepping stones to hang on to, when one is caught in the rapids.
Whether they serve to give troubled readers a rest, create texture in the pacing or just serve to really make a reader appreciate they’ve got their (free) money’s worth, it’s a good choice. Mascot Moose Kid himself is keen enough on comics that it’s probably contagious. I wonder if a reluctant reader would be hooked back in, not wanting to disappoint him? Hey, if you’ve got children, let me know.