Tacklebear and Barko the Stickdog #1
Here’s a book of mostly one page gag strips with a few longer stories thrown in. It often follows the standard gag strip formula of setting something up for the sake of a mostly lame punchline, but it does veer into more entertaining territory here and there. It’s the story of a bear and his guard dog (and yes, he does deal with why a bear would want a guard dog) as they deal with rain, ghost stories, a malfunctioning magician’s hat, “Footbig”, and the “stop hitting yourself” game (come on, you all played it when you were kids). The book suffers from a lack of timing, as a lot of longer stories go on too long and some of the shorter ones could have used a bit more. Still, there are some funny moments here and there and, despite the simplicity of the characters and the general lack of backgrounds, you can tell that Dean has some artistic talent when he uses it. He sent another book along with this that I’ll get to probably in a month or so. I’ll have a more complete idea of his work then. Until then, this has a few moments wrapped around a bunch of so-so stuff. Send him an e-mail or send him $3 if you want to check it out at: Dean LeCrone C/o Sourdirt Comics P.O. Box 502074 San Diego, CA 92150-2074.