4 Kids Walk into a Bank, issue 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.