Marc Jackson is a truly unique cartoonist who draws in a style that’s both nostalgic and its own thing entirely. I’ve reviewed a few of his works over the years, like Here Comes Cat Stevens and Goons of the Galaxy, both of which are retro in style and funny in a chuckle sort of way. Bring the Ninja is one of Jackson’s latest books, which features superheroes in a comic strip format fighting crime and chomping on sandwiches as needed.
This work is a touch different from Jackson’s previous comics, partly because it’s done in black and white, but also due to its four-panel story structure. Much like the Sunday paper comic strips, these stories play out with conventional setup and cliffhanger storytelling. They’re breezy, expressive in their use of sound effects, and filled with attitude. They’re fun, and scratch the itch you might have for simple but nostalgic storytelling.
The use of word balloons and sound effects stands out with this one. From “Leap!” helping to convey the ninja’s jumping off the ground to a butt attack from Atomic Booty that delivers a “Sqanch”, it’s ludicrous and over the top. With some fiddling, this could easily be a cartoon you’d tune into on Cartoon Network.
The book is rather short, running just 12 pages, and it’s also a rather simplistic read. Given its comic strip feel, though, that shouldn’t be a surprise. That said, much like Jackson’s previous work, it’s filled with one-liners and a cute sense of humor.
This is a fun read and is definitely going to be your bag if you’re looking for Saturday Morning Cartoon vibes in a charming and comical package. You can check out Jackson’s work today. You can also check out Spookids which is a twice-a-month web comics strip found here.
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