Posts Tagged Lex
“Attention Deficit Disorder” gets bandied about rather carelessly these days, with the original medical diagnosis being tossed out the window in favor of general distractability. This fails to take into account the rest of the disorder—the mood swings, the frustration of always losing your train of thought, the way it can take hours to write up an essay that should be dashed off in no time at all because something else happens to
You’re still here? Oh, shoot, the whole review thing. Anyway, attention span can be a crucial thing for cartoonists, especially if they’re trying to write up something with a cohesive plot (much less a coherent one). And that’s where Nicky510, a comic produced by a guy called “Crow,” runs into a bit of a snag.
In some ways, Nicky510 seems to be trying very hard to set itself up as a successor to Calvin & Hobbes:
- Where Calvin spent a lot of time giving sophisticated reasons for his chalk drawings, so does Nicky.
- Where Calvin had his Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs, young Nicky Nickel has his BinkyCakes. (This gag gets revisited frequently.)
- Calvin and Nicky both have fathers who mangle bedtime stories.
- It’s a poor idea to take Calvin or Nicky to the zoo.
- Both kids tend to have photorealistic imaginations.
- Where Calvin has his stuffed tiger Hobbes, Nicky has The Great Gazoo . . . or, rather, ELF, an alien who can turn invisible whenever it’s inconvenient.
Nicky510 briefly visits the idea of a Suzie Derkins analogue as well, although she hasn’t been seen since. Unlike Calvin, however, Nicky has an older brother named Lex, who generally serves as a nerdy, sour-pussed foil to Nicky’s wide-eyed antics. As a cranky and rule-bound nerd myself, I almost feel miffed.
The art follows a simple style that spares a little detail for foreground figures and usually leaves the background as an assumption—it would translate well to a newspaper format, although it does occasionally color in one detail or two to aid the punch line. Following again in Calvin & Hobbes‘s footsteps, kids are depicted as being about a foot and a half tall, although Nicky is a lot more smiley than Calvin tended to be.
I mentioned attention span as a potential hang-up for Nicky510, and I suppose I should get around to mentioning what I mean. Starting in October 2008, Crow began to post single-panel gag comics in the middle of the story. By July or so, he’d promoted the single-panel gags to a weekly feature . . . but they’re still plunked down in the middle of the story comics. I personally get a bit of a snicker from a lot of them (even if they show an odd squid fixation), but they’d probably be better served as a separate comic series in their own directory, rather than tossed pell-mell into the middle of Nicky’s storyline.
Those issues aside, Nicky510 is entertaining, and while it plays up the homage enough to border on discomfort, it’s still worth a good chuckle or two.
Comic Rating: 10 mg of Adderall per day.