Publisher: Madius Comics
Writer(s): Mike Sambrook/Rob Jones
Artist: Drew Bristow
Release Date: October 24th, 2015 (Nottingham Comic Con)
In Ramlock Investigates, the latest all-ages offering from the folks at Madius Comics, we are introduced to the world’s greatest goat (yes, I said goat) detective as he and his partner Mister Pigling gradually unravel a case involving a robbery at the city bank. The duo are, to be blunt, fairly inept for the most part, but dammit if they don’t get results! The first issue is set for release at next month’s Nottingham Comic Con, but we’ve been able to take an advance look at what readers can expect when it finally goes on sale.
The humour here is definitely skewed towards the younger reader, with slapstick and silliness very much the order of the day. Ramlock’s bumbling ways provide a constant stream of funny material (assuming someone walking into a glass door is the kind of thing that makes you chuckle) and the story itself, a tongue-in-cheek conspiracy romp featuring a sheep having his wool stolen and ninja octopi, is classic ‘Saturday Morning Cartoon’ fare.
The artwork is as bold and lively as you would expect, with over-exaggerated facial expressions and anthropomorphic shenanigans aplenty. Bristow does a great job with the design here, churning out a wide variety of visually interesting characters, and the flow of his pages from panel to panel keeps things moving smoothly throughout. The colouring on the other hand is a little hit-or-miss, with his great work on the splash pages jarring somewhat with several uneven, flat-looking smaller panels. Overall however, the visual side of Ramlock Investigates is probably its strongest suit, with a bright, colourful style that goes hand in hand (or should that be hoof in hoof?) with the zany world that Sambrook and Jones have created.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s necessarily a lot here for older readers if I’m honest, and the sharper wit that was present in the likes of Papercuts and Inkstains is notably absent, having been ‘dumbed down’ significantly here – presumably to help appeal to the younger market. That said, there are still a few choice gems of dialogue along the way. Seriously, whoever came up with the line “they look like amateur hour at an A.A. Milne cosplay convention” deserves a gold star. A+, gentlemen.
Overall, while Ramlock Investigates is a book that is definitely going to find its main audience with younger readers, it still possesses some of the same offbeat charm that is rapidly becoming synonymous with Madius Comics. Sure, some of the gags may be a bit broad, and the humour may be a little ‘on the nose’ at times, but if you have a younger comic book fan in your life, it’s a safe bet that they’re going to absolutely love the zany adventures of Ramlock and Pigling. Well worth checking out.
Ramlock Investigates #1 will be available this October from the Madius Comics online store. You should also make sure to follow the guys on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter for the latest updates on all their upcoming releases.