Written & Drawn by Roger Langridge
Cover by Roger Langridge
Release date: August 2011
If the Eisner awards for comics still had the “Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition” category, Roger Langridge would be a shoe-in to win this year. His runs on The Muppet Show comic for BOOM! Studios and The Mighty Thor for Marvel were well loved by critics and the people who actually read it, but sold in pretty small numbers. Langridge is back with a new series, Snarked, also from BOOM! Judging from the preview issue, Snarked #0, it is another series that deserves a bigger audience than it may reach.
Snarked centers on two characters, Wilberforce J Walrus and Clyde McDunk, also known as the Carpenter. If you’re familiar with Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, you may recognize the names of those characters. Snarked takes the characters from Carroll’s poem, and puts them in their own little universe. In this introductory issue, we meet the two main characters and get a good sense of their personalities. Walrus is a grifter, a cheat, a smooth talker, and a layabout. The Carpenter is stupid. He is a dupe, a rube, and a simpleton. There is a Laurel and Hardy feel to their relationship that is perfectly expressed within the first few pages. We’ve all read these types of characters before, but there is still humor to be mined from them by a skilled writer.
What I liked most about Snarked is something that I also enjoy about books like The Unwritten or Kill Shakespeare, which is that they are stories based on literary works, but I don’t feel like I have to have read those base stories before reading the new interpretations. There are a lot of Lewis Carroll in-jokes that I do recognize: the newspaper for the town that Walrus and Carpenter live in is called the Jabberwock; the King of the town is the Red King, and a few others. I’m sure there are other references that flew right over my head, but it doesn’t really matter. The Easter Eggs are there for those who are familiar with Carroll’s work, but there is still an enjoyable story between the covers.
This was a very enjoyable issue, and you should make sure your comic shop orders a copy for you or find the issue when it’s out in August. It is another example of an all-ages book that truly is for people of all ages. Don’t be afraid to try something different when this comes out.