So here’s one I bet you’ve never heard: Two adventures getting dragged into a sinister corporate plot about snack chips that are actually being used to brainwash people. That is the most simple summary I can give for the first issue of the independently produced comic, Sampop And Gavsby. Created by local Grand Rapids authors, Gavin Brown and Sam Lishinski, this comic is pack full of fantastic humor and deliciously over the top action.
The art is, honestly, rather simplistic but that’s not a bad thing. It reminds me of cartoons I used to watch when I was younger and makes it stand out from many of the typical forms of illustrations that are saturating the indie comic scene. There are moments in the comic that flip between detailed close-ups and the standard art, so it does show off the well-rounded talent of the artist. All these things allow the art to compliment the story instead of letting the story be secondary.
But don’t let the art style fool you. The story is as if saturday morning cartoons grew up and sucker punched you in the face.
Part of what fuels that are the characters. Sampop plays the straight man to Gavsby’s naivety and sometimes just outright stupidity, but it never seems like they are too unlikely of a team up. It’s clear the two have a history together and it goes beyond just the fact that they are just friends or adventurers that might have a common end goal. While there isn’t much given on their back story, readers will easily gravitate towards either Sampop or Gavsby.
Even the minor characters are entertaining and have something to offer. One scene in particular that stood out to me was between Sampop and Detective Snyder, who was furious at Sampop for busting the villian before the police could get there. This character is stereotypical of the “hard-core” cop trope, but Sampop’s attitude completely undermines any type of authority this character is supposed to give off and it’s hysterical. It characterizes Sampop even more as well as gives the readers an outside perspective of how others might view the team.
With a hilarious story and entertaining leads, Sampop ad Gavsby is a fantastic read that is more than worth the price tag. If I had any real complaint, it would be that the story is too short but that’s just me wanting to know more about the characters and see the duo take off an another adventure. Fortunately, there is a second volume available so it seems as though Sampop and Gavsby have more exciting adventures ahead of them. I highly recommended going along for the ride!