“Sludgy” #2 : Happy To Be Stuck In The Muck

In the comics game, second issues are almost as tricky a thing to pull off as first issues — sure, debuts have to grab you and all, but the follow-up has to give you a reason to stick around. And in the case of a rather tightly-defined humor strip, that task is amplified to an even greater degree, because it’s incumbent upon a cartoonist to prove that their concept can keep on being funny even though readers already have a pretty good sense of the general gist of things.

That being said, the swamp is one of those locales that’s always offered more sheer storytelling possibilities than most other places — just ask Walt Kelly. Or, if your sensibilities run more toward comic books that strips, ask Alan Moore or Steve Gerber. And while we’re at it, we can add Robb Mirsky’s name to this list of luminaries.

Or it appears we can, at any rate. Granted, the “sample size” offered by his self-published series Sludgy is considerably smaller than the sprawling bodies of work authored by the other creators just mentioned, but with issue #2 having just been released, it would appear that this Harvey Comics-esque take on self-replicating muck monsters may indeed have some actual staying power to it — and may be malleable enough to be a successful vehicle for long(-ish) form narratives. Which I guess shouldn’t come as too great a surprise when we’re talking about characters that can assume any sort of shape or size and apparently can’t be, ya know, killed or anything like that. Could it be, then, that Mirsky has found the perfect character(s) with which to tell just about any sort of tale that pops into his mind?

As of this writing, the answer to that question as far as this critic is concerned is a qualified “yes,” as Mirsky has delivered a second issue that, a couple short and amusing back-up strips notwithstanding, amounts to a full-length story that pits our Sludgies against a hapless crew of developers a la the F.A. Schist (I still get a chuckle out of that) company of Man-Thing renown. It’s not a mentally taxing or aesthetically challenging story by any stretch, but then it’s not meant to be — Mirsky’s aim is to deliver a bizarrely cute, reasonably funny yarn that touches lightly upon largely non-controversial (unless you’re a right-winger, in which case no one here gives a flying fuck what you think) environmental themes and to draw the whole thing really well. Judged by those standards, then, his comic is a rousing success.

He’s certainly hit on a winning formula in terms of matching apropos subject matter with witty timing, fundamentally strong composition, and a frankly inspired color palette, and with this second issue he’s shown that his hermetically-sealed little comic book “reality” can indeed, like his protagonists, bend without breaking. And honestly, with something like this, a winning formula is more or less game, set, and match — provided a cartoonist is clever enough to not only keep it going, but to do things that are legitimately unexpected, or at the very least surprising, with it.

At the risk of sounding hopelessly passe, I’m here to tell you than there’s nothing wrong with making fun comics — nor is there anything wrong with liking them. And they don’t come much more fun than this, so go ahead and enjoy it, just as Mirsky clearly enjoyed making it.

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Sludgy #2 is available for $6.00 from the My Moving Parts website at https://mymovingparts.com/collections/comics/products/sludgy-2-comic

Review wrist check – Formex “Reef” green dial/green bezel model riding Formex’s own black rubber deployant strap.

4 thoughts on ““Sludgy” #2 : Happy To Be Stuck In The Muck

  1. Pingback: Five Years Left To Cry In – This Week’s Links - Avada Classic Shop

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