You may recall a while back we posted a preview for Not So Super Comics’ Smorgasbord Squad. It looked like a humorous all-ages romp of a story and after reading the first issue I can say that it’s definitely all those things. In a strange way it reminds me of a property based on action figures and I do not mean that as a slam. Thinking back I think most of us as kids had toys for cartoons we hadn’t watched yet, but quickly fell in love with due to the toys. Smorgasbord Squad’s rich character designs scream for the action figure treatment and definitely contributed to the entertainment of the story. The story itself is easy to sum up, the H.U.N.G.E.R. Pack has rolled into the town of Hasenpfeffer and stolen the good citizen’s food! Now it’s up to the Smorgasbord Squad made up of Sir Bacon, Appletina, Hot Tamale, Spinich and some strange food mascots to stop them. It’s definitely not over and done with that easily as the team runs into trouble that will prove difficult for them in the next issue.
There is also a backup story that reveals some of the origin of the Smorgasbord Squad and frankly the comic was better because of it. If the main story had been the origin I don’t know if my interested would have been held, but as a backup story it works.
Jacques Nyemb continues to build a strong line of books with Not So Super Comics. I’ve yet to read one that was disappointing and it’s clearer and clearer that Nyemb is finding his creative voice easier with each story and issue. The character of the narrator was probably one of my favorites because it gave it a cartoon feel. The pacing and structure was very much like that of Boom’s KaBoom line of books based on Cartoon Network and Cartoon Hangover properties. I was a bit put off by the fact that there were two stories, but since the backup story was different and actually important to the series it didn’t end up bothering me. Personally I would still make the focus more on the main story and keep the bulk of the pages there as well.
I’m a fan of Justin Wood’s art. If you didn’t know he actually drew that little character version of me you’ll find at the bottom of this review. That said I’m not completely biased, but I still think he did an incredible job on this issue. The style he’s crafted is unique looking, but distinct as well. I brought up the action figures because action figures are all distinct and recognizable. You don’t wander down the toy aisle and get confused because they all look-alike. That’s what his style did for this issue. It made it stand out.
That world that was crafted was charming and Wood and company make it one that feels lived in. It’s not a hallow cartoon world, but rather one with people from every walk of life. Wood also crams in the visual jokes from bumper stickers to building signs giving it a Chew vibe.
Nyemb is joined by Kayla Miller for the backup origin story and while her artwork couldn’t be more different from Wood’s, it fits the story. It strange when you see the art side by side because it doesn’t look like they belong in the same issue, but they do. Something about it works.
Miller also brings a distinct style to the issue and I enjoyed it as well. She’s definitely a good fit for the characters outside of their costumes and she creates some adorable living food mascots that beg to be stickers at the very least. In particular I enjoyed Peppy Ronnie, a slice of pizza with a knife.
Smorgasbord Squad is 100% independently funded and worked on. When you see it you’ll be impressed because it looks more professional than the aforementioned KaBoom titles.
Is it all-ages? For sure. Are there jokes and bits of humor for adults? Definitely. Like I said I had a good time reading this book. I came away feeling light and happy and I don’t think that feeling will be exclusive to me. If you’re down with anything I’ve listed in this review: action figures, cartoon shows, comics based on cartoon shows, Chew (a food connection!!!), then there will be something for you to enjoy.
Writer: Jacques Nyemb Artists: Justin Wood, Kayla Miller Publisher: Not So Super Comics Website Coming To Kickstarter Soon! Check back for updates.