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Monday, April 20, 2009

MAGIC PICKLE by Scott Morse

MAGIC PICKLE, by the prolific Scott Morse, was a black and white comic published in the early years of this century by Oni Press. It's an example of that under appreciated "funny vegetable comic" genre (the best known examples being FLAMING CARROT and TALES OF THE BEANWORLD). While not nearly as popular as its sister genre, the "funny animal comic", it does have its fans. We call ourselves "pulpies"...

Anyway, recently Morse has returned to the character for a series of illustrated prose books published by the Graphix imprint of Scholastic. In addition to that new work, they've also republished the original comic book, now fully coloured.

Normally I'm one of those annoying purists who don't cotton to do with the idea of colouring comics originally intended for black and white (while, oddly, having no problem with most black and white reproduction of comics drawn for colour). This case is one of the exceptions, as I always thought that the art in the original had an unfinished quality without colour. And as you'd expect with Graphix, having seen the colouring that their reprints of Jeff Smith's BONE gets (that wasn't a series that I felt needed colour, but the colour it got does look nice), the colour that the series gets (by Jose Garibaldi) is excellent, adding a lot of texture to the artwork, improving the flow quite a bit, so that you quickly forget that the stories wasn't drawn with the colour in mind in the first place.

Anyway, the series is about a mutated pickle, code named Weapon Kosher, who one day bursts out from an underground lab beneath the bedroom of young Jo Jo Wigman and gets her involved in his battle against his enemies, the Brotherhood of Evil Produce. So yeah, it's that kind of book. A lot of fun, assuming you aren't the kind of person who things that "good pun" is an oxymoron. The artwork, already good in the original, really shines in this new version, with a lot of slapstick action.

I strongly recommend this to anyone looking for a gift for a younger reader, or wanting to appeal to the younger reader that they were however many years ago.

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