The Phoenix Issue 4
Regular as clockwork, Phoenix issue 4 drops through the letterbox, and regular as clockwork, Molly grabs it and refuses to give it up until she’s read it cover to cover. She promises to write something about it soon, but basically she’s enjoying most of it, especially Long Gone Don by the Etherington Brothers, and Jamie Smart’s Bunny Vs Monkey. She particularly enjoys the extras – Neill Cameron’s How To Make Awesome Comics prompts her to get her sketchpad out, whilst she’s having great fun each week solving the Von Doogan puzzles, and this week she had great fun looking at the last 4 issues worth of Patrice Aggs’ What Will Happen Next.
(What Will Happen Next – Patrice Aggs, a Where’s Wally style disaster in progress)
For my part, when I eventually get hold of the issue, it’s a lot of fun. Highlights pretty much as last issue – Pirates Of Pangaea continues to impress, managing that difficult trick of making a four-page weekly adventure strip fulfilling in each episode with Neill Cameron’s art this time round full of gorgeous sunset reds, Bunny Vs Monkey is daft nonsense with great art, Star Cat is very funny and has great comedy timing.
Long Gone Don by the Etheringtons and The Lost Boy by Kate Brown are two I’m increasingly convinced will read better in bigger chunks though, as the 3 and 2 pages respectively just don’t really work for me at the moment (In fact, I went back and read the first four parts of each tonight, and yes, I’m spot on – as one story there’s a much more satisfying read to both).
(Cogg and Sprokit by Jamie Littler)
New this issue is Cogg & Sprokit by Jamie Littler, another of the Phoenix feature specials that looks like it’s already lined up for a more regular appearance somewhere down the line. But based on the four pager intro here that’s not a bad thing at all.
It’s a manic fantasy tale of an adventuring emoboy and his hippo – this time round they’re having to deal with a rather nasty looking purple monster with far too many teeth for comfort. And all they’ve got in Sprokit’s backpack is a toy rocket, a remote control for something, and a box of doggie treats. Fun and frolics ensue, with some fresh looking artwork from Littler.
There’s also the welcome return of Gary Northfield’s Gary’s Garden. And from the “more next week” at the end, here’s hoping it gets a regular weekly slot.
(Gary Northfield’s Gary’s Garden – the domestic bliss of the orchard shattered!)
So, as a weekly comic, I’m coming down on the side of yes, albeit with a few reservations. Molly is an emphatic yes though – and that’s the thing that really matters, she’s the target range after all. If I can somehow drag her away from her ever-expanding social life, I’ll get her to tell you about just how much she’s enjoying it real soon.
The Phoenix Comic is available through subscription (details at the website), it’s on sale at Waitrose supermarkets and at selected independent stores.