When my daughter was still a toddler (years ago) I attempted a strip called Hypernaut. It was your typical kid living out their imagination type of comic. It last for all of one strip, it was a longish strip though. It consisted of my daughter walking along an alien landscape and rescuing her stuffed bear from the evil vaccuum monster. I’ve always been fond of those type of comics. My favorite being Calvin and Hobbs. It was a consumate source of escapism through the adventures of a little kid. I think we adults need that, and why some live so much through their children. Yearning for simpler times.
Yesterday, while wandering through some of the webcomic communities, I found Boxcar Astronaut. It’s a fairly new strip by Jeff Carter and Mark Lapierre, and it appears on Lapierre’s ComicSpace gallery page and on a MySpace page.
It’s about two kids, Ben and Devin who I imagine are early grade school age. So far it’s stayed fairly grounded, the action surrounding Ben’s pretend spaceship made of an old appliance box, though the last couple episodes introduce an alien robot. I’m curious to find out if this is imaginary or an interesting twist where these kids who want to be astronauts find themselve encountering real aliens. I think I should mention Ben’s dog. A classic comedy catylist. I love that dog.
I think Jeff Carter has done a great job on the story, only 9 episodes so far. It’s been cute, funny and quirky.
The art by Marc Lapierre sells it. Lapierre has a crisp classic style, very polished. Reminds me a lot of Judd Winick’s Barry Ween style. Not so far as character design, but line weights and detail, and Devin does kind of got that Ween hairstyle. If there is a weakness in Lapierre’s style is that it might be too clean. While it molds a traditional comic strip format, 4 consistant panels (though a 2×2 scheme), it lacks the imperfections of print dailies.
Boxcar Astronaut looks fun and promising, youthful escapism at it’s best. Carter and Lapierre are a great team and I hope to see week after week new adventures.
... read it now!
Boxcar Astronaut is a great strip that takes you back to the days when a cardboard box was all you needed to travel the universe with.
The art is clean and simple - just the way I like it, but well drawn and inventive at the same time, as well as being cute without crossing into schmaltzy territory.
The writing stands up as being both the sort of dialogue that kids might come out with, but as an adult, (well in physical years anyway,) it was well paced and funny and kept my interest (I read all of the currently available issues in one sitting and was left wanting more.).
The kids enthusiasm is infectious and just reading it cheered me up, even though I wasn't feeling too bad in the first place!
Definately a strip I will be keeping an eye on in the future - it has that, "I wanna know what happens next" factor. Keep it up guys!
... read it now!