Review by: Kevin Reilly In its original publication in 2002, Herobear and the Kid won two Eisner awards for its writer/artist, Mike Kunkel. The awards are well-deserved: Herobear is an incredibly smart book for kids, and it has its own fascinating visual identity. Now, ka-BOOM has begun to republish the original adventures of Herobear for a new audience more than a decade since the original run. I’m really glad they did.
Herobear and the Kid follows the adventures of the titular kid, Tyler; following the death of his grandfather, Tyler’s family moves into his old house. He’s left with a stuffed bear with a pocket watch in its pocket. The story then follows Tyler as he tries to make his way through his awkward first few days of school, invoking familiar things in a really refreshing manner.
The book feels intentionally rough; with pencils so clear you can see things like the guiding lines of Tyler’s hair and the primary shapes from which characters are constructed. It’s presented in black, white, and red, with the red being used in such a special way I’d best not spoil it.
Herobear and the Kid rides the incredibly thin line that all children’s stories do. Not once does it ever talk down to its potential audience, or even attempt to appeal to an older one. It’s a comic that is emotionally heavy but still laugh-out-loud funny. As someone who wasn’t able to read Herobear in its original release, I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Mike Kunkel
Publisher: Boom Studios
Release Date: 8/14/13