That fat Nazi has to be out of licorice by now, right?

4 Kids Walk into a Bank

4 Kids Walk into a Bank, issue 1

  1. A skinhead gang barges into 11-year-old Paige’s house. She picks a fight with them, then gathers her D&D-playing friends to go on a stake-out and find out what they are up to. This is exactly in my sweet spot.
  2. This is a noir-ish detective story at its core, but it allows plenty of space to let the kids be kids, and they have a great sense of humour. The D&D game that devolves into squabbling because that one kid doesn’t understand why he can’t be a dragon; the ham radio conversation that devolves into “over over over over” because that one kid can’t choose a decent callsign. These scenes have absolutely no bearing on the plot, but they are good depictions of childhood conversations and develop the group dynamic effectively.
  3. Everything about this (the humour, the cast, the stakes, and particularly the art) reminds me of Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth Hawkguy, and that is a very very good thing.
  4. Paige is shaping up as an excellent protagonist in the Veronica Mars mould. She’s streetwise, self-assured, and an excellent smartarse, but her care and loyalty for friends and family are already evident. I have been thinking about running a game of Bubblegumshoe, and even in the first issue, 4KWIAB is sparking some ideas. This is going to be great.
  5. My one niggling concern is that when you establish a gang of swastika-tattooed skinheads as the villains, it is not a great idea to make the Jewish kid the socially inept one who is barely tolerated by the group. I hope they give him a heroic turn at some point.

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