Title Spencer & Locke #1
Story by David Pepose
Art by Jorge Santiago Jr.
Publisher: Action Lab: Danger Zone
Release Date: 4/12/17
Calvin & Hobbes mixing with Sin City is not a combination you think would work though it strangely does sort of like peanut butter on a hamburger. Pepose creates the story of Locke a mischievous kid that is now grown up into a hard-boiled detective on his next case with his best friend Spencer a blue panther which Locke anthropomorphizes. This review contains no spoilers as I trying to keep this review mostly of stylistics rather than just discussing the plot.
Art is the perfect blend of both comic medium comic strips and graphic novels. Locke’s past is stylized with the comic strip design while the present is designed as most modern comics with a dark and gritty nature. I am surprised on how Santiago is able to integrate both designs not only seamlessly but uses the dual styling to set an overall mood. Locke’s design is very reminiscent of Calvin especially during his early days though Locke as an adult looks like fanart renditions of the character grown up. Spencer’s design is also very reminiscent of the other title character except being a giant blue panther instead of a giant orange tiger. While the art is very refined there are some panels that use rudimentary sketches for a stylistic effect to garner up suspense.
The story revolves around Locke growing up in a lower-income household with an abusive mother. Forwarding to Locke visiting Parkwood Central School, his former school, a place for troubled youth where his past is revisited his past. Along the way of his newest murder case, he is met with obstacles from his past in order to get to the root of this mystery.
Nostalgia is a hard thing to master especially with everyone bringing old shows, comics, and other things from the 1980’s,90’s and early 2000’s. However, the main problem with these reboots is that the new material does little to enhance the aforementioned material. Spencer & Locke is able to change up Calvin & Hobbes enough to make this its own property and make the comic worth reading.
You can find Spencer & Locke #1 in your local comic store or online.