THE PAST few months have been rather exciting for UK comics, with the launch of no less than two new titles upon the market, a cause for much celebration in these dark days where a new comic is a rare thing indeed, and the number of comics on the news-stands has dwindled dramatically.
The Wizzo is already on issue 3, but this was the first one available to buy online so I thought I’d support upcoming talent by purchasing a copy and having a bit of a read. Then, after thinking that, I actually did it, as that’s the kinda guy I am.
The first thing that strikes you about the comic is how professionally presented it is, it’s ridiculously well done for a bunch of bloomin’ kids. The cover is bold and eye-catching, with a well-designed logo and a fun and frantic cartoon by Harry Rickard. The quality is maintained throughout, with (for the most part) the strips looking bright and colourful, and the layout being very pleasing to the eyeballs, and clearly influenced by the revamped Dandy – a very good thing, in my book (though I may be biased).
The strips themselves offer a great variety, and are well-drawn and, crucially, funny. I loved i-Wish by Harry Rickard, a clever twist on the genie-in-the-lamp story involving a mobile phone; Robert Robot and Blong gave me guffaws (also by Harry); Tornado Tommy by Jonathan Barham (about a boy able to control wind – no, not like THAT, you dirty-minded fools) was a great idea; I laughed out loud at Crazy Cartoons by Kieren Gillespie; I really liked The Wee Musketeer by Max Champion (ace artwork!), and I thoroughly enjoyed Jumbo Jet, Tall and Small and Chav and Jim (all by Hannes Smit – I especially loved the design of Chav, very funny!)
Basically, ALL the writers and artists on the title should be well chuffed, they all draw superbly, all know how to tell a joke or two and all had something fun to bring to the comic. They should all give themselves a great big pat on the back. (No, not a cow-pat).
If there were any negatives, they were minimal, really…some of the strips came out a bit pixellated, and some of the older comics looked a bit faint compared to the much bolder newer strips. Also, some of the characters were awfully similar to some characters in other comics…no bad thing really (it’s always nice to pay tribute to what’s gone before, or offer your own spin on things), but I hope future issues have more completely original characters rather than variations on the tried-and-tested formulas (a footballing kid, mischievous baby, and boy inventor, for example). But speaking as someone who spent his youth drawing strips about a naughty boy, I’m a fine one to talk!
They’re genuinely my only (very minor) quibbles and suggestions for The Wizzo. Overall, I was blown away by how good the comic looked, how well-drawn the strips were, the excellent layout and I thought that the quality of the strips was very high throughout.
This is precisely the sort of thing I’d have done as a lad, had the internet been around then (‘ee, in my day it were all fields) and I firmly salute everyone involved for working hard on the comic, and then getting it printed and put up for sale. For anyone who moans about the nation’s youth, I’d point to The Wizzo and say there are still plenty of youngsters out there with great ideas, obvious talent and a brilliant, entrepreneurial spirit. Furthermore, given the skill of everyone involved, I’d say these guys (and gals!) should reassure anyone that the future of British comics will be in safe hands.
The Wizzo can be ordered online through their wonderful website (much better than even The Dandy’s current site, and will be even better when everything is up there). Go pick up a copy, and support young talent. Half of the money raised will go to various charities too, so you’ll also be doing some good in exchange for your funnies. SO DO IT.
I’ll certainly be buying The Wizzo again. Roll on issue 4!