Preview: Woody and The Noble

Created by Jason Pell
Pencils and inks by Juan Romera

“A boy detective and his exceptional dog join forces with a lost Morlock and two squabbling gods to make the strange town of Deeproot, West Virginia, a little safer from the dangerously weird.”

- From the back cover

Woody and The Noble is a comic book that pays homage to the child detective genre, celebrates the bizarre, and pokes fun at anything “normal”. Woody, a precocious child investigator (complete with business card), joins his dog The Noble (that’s his full name) in seeking out mysteries in their new home of Deeproot, West Virginia. Through a mistake, they end up teaming up with a young Morlock named Little Sir, and living next door to some (currently popular and slightly deranged) gods. In the world of Woody and The Noble, Woody is the adult, and everyone else, including the reader, is the child who’s just along for the ride.

The book’s 80 pages are divided into three chapters, with a bonus chapter at the end that is a reprinting of the earliest appearance of Woody and The Noble. As I first started reading, I thought that Woody and The Noble would be a great all-ages book. While it would be appropriate for most children, it goes from a relatively harmless Morlock infestation (Woody bashes them with a wiffle ball bat), to dark, twisted, and slightly more violent by the third chapter. Add in the subtle adult jokes and and cynical humor, and it’s obvious that this book was made for adults who have a dark sense of humor.

The characters are great. Woody is adorably smart and quick-witted. While he’s never actually “snarky”, you get the feeling that he knows that he’s a lot smarter than everyone else around him. The Noble is more dog-like than your typical animal sidekick, but he is definitely smarter than your average dog. Little Sir is just plain weird. However, two characters that totally steal the show are Woody’s skeezy, freeloading parents, Don and Marcy. Their lack of care about Woody’s dangerous activities, as well as their love of mooching off of their neighbors, makes them people that you love to hate. They are so reprehensible that they’ve even been rejected as alien test subjects, and yet, they are hilarious characters. Some of their antics make you wonder why Child Protective Services haven’t been called yet.

I wish I could tell you just how great three particular characters are, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. I was definitely delighted to see these well-known characters pop up. Trust me, they’re a great addition to the story. I also don’t want to spoil the story involving monkeys… but wow. The ending managed to make me sad, grossed out, and amused at the same time.

The art has a great campy style that seems like a cross between Archie style and manga. I especially love the facial expressions. They really helped to tell the story.

I have two criticisms of Woody and The Noble. The first is a few minor grammar mistakes, which probably won’t annoy most people. The second is that I wanted more. I was having such a good time that I never wanted it to end. I’m hoping that we’ll get to see more in the future.

Woody and The Noble was enjoyable, twisted fun that satisfied my devious inner child. I give Woody and The Noble 4 out of 5 angry monkeys.

Woody and The Noble is now available for pre-order on Amazon and at Diamond.

 

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Mary Knize, Captain Painway, "C-Pain", and formerly Mary Staggs, was Panels on Pages' May 2010 Fangirl of the Month and is a former rollergirl. When she's not busy writing, she's probably playing a video game. She also loves Wikipedia and science.

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