Imitating farting noises – that’s fun. Just as much as peeing in the snow or having ghost stories told by the flickering campfire. Children like it when it’s a little gross or creepy, just not too much; the right dose is what counts. It promises a comic like “Archibald”, the back cover of which announces with a cocky, winking eye: “Shuddering and grinning guaranteed! Fearful rabbits please stay outside!”
Archibald is an eleven-year-old boy who grows up with his forgetful grandpa and who identifies himself as a Sherlock Holmes fan by the checkered hat he wears. When a talking dog named Monk, dressed in a trench coat, shows up at his place, Archibald has the opportunity to prove his ability to be a detective. In the first case it is necessary to clarify what is behind a zombie epidemic; then the two of them have to deal with a demonic ringmaster who turns into a berserk when the moon is full.
The series is from South Korea but is drawn in a soft, European, semi-funny style. Kim Hyun-min prefers curves and curved lines; this gives his pictures something cozy and reduces the effectiveness of the horror, which is already broken up by comedy elements. With only 40 pages each, the comics are almost a little tight. Kim pushes the story forward very quickly – it has to be like that – but you’d like to learn a little more about the characters and the world in which they are at home.
“Raowl” is set in a strange fairy tale and fantasy cosmos. With his Mickey Mouse homage “Mickey’s young years”, the French draftsman Tébo already showed five years ago that he knows how to give the familiar a twist into the overdone and grotesque. Raowl is a rather simple adventurer with an oversized tiger head sitting on his muscular body. His name is no coincidence: on the one hand the aristocratic-looking name “Raul” sounds, on the other hand the roar of a big cat.
Raowl actually only wants two things: to kill a row of monsters of all kinds and to be rewarded with a kiss by beautiful princesses. He succeeds in the first effortlessly, but unfortunately hardly in the second. Because times have changed: the young women he meets are demanding and self-confident, and one of them completely refuses to play the role that was intended for her; she prefers to go about herself and smash heads. “Raowl” shines with laconic dialogue wit and perfect timing, which has been trained in animation films. But you shouldn’t be sensitive to the sight of brains, viscera and dismemberments: the comic sometimes resembles a splatter version of “Tom and Jerry”. (from eleven years)