Writer: Sean Wilson
Pencils/Inks/Effects: Matthew Critchfield
Creator/Colors: Paul Farris
Publisher: S&P Comics
Canada Bear #1, S&P Comics, Credits Page art by Matthew Critchfield, Wilson/Critchfield/Farris
WHAT IS IT?
Canada Bear is a classic superhero tale…except really Canadian…and starring a talking bear that is capable of examining his own morality. It’s awesome.
It’s like if the bear from that scene in The Revenant was the hero with comedic edge attached.
Honestly, there’s not a lot to compare Canada Bear to. It’s just strange enough to secure its own unique place in the comic book world.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
After a hunting accident in the middle of the Swiss-Canada Cold War, an everyday bear is miraculously given superpowers.
Now, he defends the Great White North as Canada Bear!
For some reason, villains have begun popping up to challenge our furry protagonist. In the middle of fighting one of them, Canada Bear is forced to expose his existence to the public. After that, it’s largely Canada Bear’s origin, how he got his powers, and why he chooses to fight for humanity.
However, something rather nasty is afoot! There are happenings that indicate there is something far more nefarious waiting in the background for our Hibernating Hero.
One thing I love about books like this is when they go all-in on their self-awareness. The concept is goofy and the book doesn’t shy away from that, they utilize it into making something genuinely enjoyable.
Honestly, sometimes people want to take something a little silly and make it dark or over-the-top serious. The light tone of the book is great and so welcomed.
It’s funny! Really funny! Jokes, especially in comics, are hard to land. The team gets it though, and the jokes land pretty well every time.
I think the art choice for this book is perfect. It has a cartoony feel to it, but it’s like two perfect puzzle pieces fitting together when you take the tone of the book into account.
I love the palette on the colors. Again, that’s another level of utilizing the art to match the tone. A lighthearted tone mixed with the bright colors on every page really bring the book together as a whole.
I really like that they’re building an actual plot with this. Yes, the book is goofy and lighthearted, but there’s actually something weaving in the background that we get to leave off on. It makes me want more.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Listen, the book is meant to be funny and goofy. If you’re looking for a book desperate to explain the science of how a bear gets superpowers, you’re in the wrong place. This wasn’t a negative for me, personally, but it may be for others.
I’d like to see the dialogue lettering cleaned up. The sound effects and flashback captioning were fine, but there’s a lot of negative space and weird tails in the lettering when characters are interacting. It’s just unnecessary and distracts from the page itself.
Canada Bear #1, Page 6, S&P Comics, Wilson/Critchfield/Farris
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Does a superpowered bear not do it for you? I have to give you more reasons?
Okay, Canada Bear lands its humor super-well. Its light-hearted tone, its self-awareness, its goofy plot points, all of it works to make something that is wholly unique and fun. It never gets hung up on explaining the nitty-gritty details of itself, and instead just aims to give readers an entertaining time. This book is one of the funniest ones that I’ve done a review for in a long time.
It deserves to be read because of how rarely humor is executed this well in comics.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
Click one of these:
It appears that right now Canada Bear has no availability outside of a potential crowdfunding venture for the next issue, though it appears the series is still in production.
To be updated on Canada Bear’s progress and availability, you can follow the Facebook page here.
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