Jim Benton’s new graphic novel brings CLYDE, a mischievous bear outside his element

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New news rom a recent press release by IDW Entertainment, worth a look:

IDW Publishing and Yoe Books are proud to announce Clyde, the all-new original graphic novel written and illustrated by Jim Benton, author of the New York Times-bestselling series Dear Dumb Diary.

The hilarious and heartwarming story of a mischievous bear who believes that happiness can be found over on the rough side of town, Clyde reaffirms that there’s still room for family, friendship, and altruism in even the most rebellious among us.

“We all have sketchy things in our past. It’s a riot to write about a character whose sketchy past is his present!” says Jim Benton.

When Clyde the Bear decides to ditch his safe and peaceful life in Cubville and head off for the mean streets of Grizzly City, he learns – with the help of a reformed juvenile delinquent butterfly – that the Bad Life isn’t always so great, and there’s something to be said for helping your friends and family (even though that really does kind of stink a little).

Jim Benton’s Clyde is now available for pre-order via online booksellers and comic book specialty retailers, and slated for release in February.

Comic Reading Review: Shirtless Bear-Fighter #1

Shirtless Bear-Fighter #1

  • Writer: Jody Leheup, Sebastian Girner
  • Artists: Mike Spicer, Nil Vendrell
  • Published by: Image Comics Publish Date: June 21 2017
  • Notes: New monthly series

Synopsis:

“After being betrayed by the bears that raised him, the legendary Shirtless Bear-Fighter wanders the forest he’s sworn to protect, fistfighting bears, eating flapjacks, and being the angriest man the world has ever known! When wild-eyed, super-strong bears attack the citizens of Major City, Shirtless ventures into the human world to do what he does best…PUNCH THOSE BEARS IN THE FACE! But all is not as it seems. Someone is manipulating Shirtless…and only by confronting the demons of his past can Shirtless hope to save his future! A heart-filled, hilarious, tall tale for the ages… you don’t want to miss SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER! – See more at: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/shirtless-bear-fighter-1-of-5#sthash.diMGzhaw.dpuf.”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

A hero who is shirtless and fights bears. Is there more to say so such a concept? Or perhaps, is there some deeper context one is missing here?

Life is hard, and sometimes the marketed melodrama of the comics multiverse is a bit much. With that, is something that calling to the primal instinct of action where a hero fights something more than human, which is never enough on the comic shelves. Such is cathartic, where the escapism leads to great fantasy. Enter the Shirtless Bear-Fighter, a story that stays true to form and excites those who love brawls and over-the-top action.

See?!

So, he is also pantless. Such is a bit of the comedic touch, that turns this new series into something, to be fun and ridiculous. A supporting cast arrives, giving a new call to action for mighty here, to a heightened situation involving the activities of his fursome adversaries. The supporting cast is also fun, for their ridiculous tropes that often play off mysterious daring macho types. We learn more on our shirtless and pantless hero than the action. He likes flapjacks and lives a comfortable life of solitude.  We also get into his background origin story, also ridiculous but leads towards a dramatic reason for his hate for all bears.

Where Shirtless Bear-Fighter swings hardest is the dialogue and exposition of his world. Much here, feels like Popeye where he feels the heroic calling and dashes in with overconfidence. The first issue doesn’t have much in consequences but leaves room for heightened conflict. The action is enjoyable, with elements in its panel display and transitions with feeling old school Marvelism and Shonen style manga. The art is also distinct, with a style and attitude matching the absurd premise. The colors are perfect, giving vibrancy to this action-packed world.

Overall, the first issue of Shirtless Bear-Fighter is a fun read. Though, such is too early in telling whether the premise and opening arc shall become more than the sum of its title. The ending sets up the further conflict, introducing a sinister connection that may lead towards a more interesting conflict. I look forward to seeing where it all goes, and more bear-fighting action.

This summer, SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER will bring on unBEARing action

Bears beware, for there will be a new series published by Image Comics titled Shirtless Bear-Fighter, from writers Jody LeHeup (former editor of Uncanny X-Force, Deadpool, Quantum and Woody) and Sebastian Girner (editor of Southern Bastards, Deadly Class, Black Science), newcomer artist Nil Vendrell, colorist Mike Spicer (Head Lopper, Mythic), and letterer Dave Lanphear.

(SEE 3-PAGE PREVIEW AND COVERS BELOW) 

Shirtless Bear-Fighter is an over-the-top action/comedy chock full of humor, colorful characters, larger-than-life battles, and high adventure. It’s the story of a wrathful man at war with himself, what happens when we allow anger to rule our lives, and what we can do to set things right.

After being betrayed by the bears that raised him, the legendary Shirtless Bear-Fighter wanders the forest he’s sworn to protect, fist-fighting bears, eating flapjacks, and being the angriest man the world has ever known! When wild-eyed, super-strong bears attack the citizens of Major City, Shirtless ventures into the human world to do what he does best…PUNCH THOSE BEARS IN THE FACE! But all is not as it seems. Someone is manipulating Shirtless…and only by confronting the demons of his past can Shirtless hope to save his future!

IGN calls the series, “As wonderfully wild as it is completely literal,” while Pixelated Geek describes it as “over-the-top, intentionally offensive, raunchy, cheesy, campy, and totally ridiculous. It’s also, not surprisingly, really fun.” Monkeys Fighting Robots declares, “This is one of the funniest comics I have read in a long time.”

The #WarOnBearror begins with SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER #1 on Wednesday, June 21st.