Always a pleasure to see more of Matthew’s work, and doubly so when it’s featuring more of his sweet and sentimental Hondle tales. I’ve been following Matthew Craig’s comics for a while now, since looking at the first batch back here (review). The standout of these was the near heartbreaking tale of Matthew’s much loved dog Hondle.
And since then it’s been a semi-regular pleasure to join him as he creates fantasy tales starring himself and his much loved pet. Because, just like us, Matthew keeps coming back to his beloved dog, making up new adventures for the pair of them to go on, freed from reality (yep, Hondle can talk – what of it?), freed from time, alive again in Matthew’s stories and a better companion we could not wish for.
(No, you’re not under the bed again Hondle, you’re somewhere far more outer-space-y. From Space Hondle by Matthew Craig.)
This time it’s a space adventure as Craigy and Hondle are mysteriously transported to “the Station” where Hondle is treated like a god and Craigy get’s thrown down to the pit to start work as a drone scooping goop out of the tunnels. But Hondle doesn’t fancy this god lark without Craigy by his side and goes all out to find his master and friend, although he is distracted in this a little by being the newfound saviour of a bunch of mini alien slaves and finding a little happiness with a feather duster (and I’ve just realised that could be misconstrued as rude – it’s not. Hondle just enjoys doing the cleaning).
But to free them both Hondle and Craigy will have to go up against the sinister (and rather lonely) Sobaka, part dog, part machine who really just wants the sort of companionship that Hondle brings to Craigy. See, even in a fairly all out action story Craig just can’t stay away from a little bit of melodramatic sadness – and it’s all the better for it.
(Adventures and a human tin opener – Hondle does love his Craigy. From Space Hondle by Matthew Craig.)
It’s lots of fun, has a nice bit of action and as you’d expect with a Hondle book, plays nicely on the love between man and his dog. And Craig also throws in a couple of good gags along the way (the tin opener line above had me smiing in a wonderfully soppy old way). All in all, a nice, engaging little read.
But Matthew may be creating a rod for his own back with these Hondle tales, because we enjoy them so much, he makes them for us and for himself. He does some other, very good stuff as well you know, but as long as he keeps making them, I’ll keep enjoying them.
Matthew dropped us a line this week, with perfect timing, to tell us (and you) that he’ll be at the Custard Factory Creative Open Workshops Handmade market from 11am to 5pm in Digbeth, Birmingham for the next couple of Saturdays (12th & 19th December). Pop along for all the Hondle and Craigy goodness you could wish for and a chance to grab a limited run of Trouble Bruin posters alongside the comics.