Well that was real mature...

Well that was real mature...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hero Bear and the Kid and the Family

Today, I saw that Boom! Studios released their solicitations for May and "The Inheritance," the first collected edition of Mike Kunkel's "Hero Bear and the Kid," series is scheduled to finally be released (it seems late since the first issue of the second series, "Saving Time," was solicited for April release), so instead of plugging my stuff, I'm going to plug someone else's because I simply cannot recommend this enough. It is hands down the best comic for kids on the market today. Heck, it is probably one of the best comics on shelves PERIOD.

I will go so far as to say don't wait for the trade, go find the back issues.  With the trade you run the risk of accidentally opening the book to the wrong place and spoiling yourself of the fantastic fifth and final issue reveal. It is one of the best examples of hiding in plain site ever. I certainly never saw it coming and, after it hit, I could not help but wonder how it got past me. Perfectly set up and paid off, it's a masterpiece of family fare.

If your child is too young to read, read it to them (you will love it too).  If they are old enough to read, read it to them/with them anyway, it makes for great parent/child time and unlike most of the comics aimed at kids these days, it's actually worth the valuable time of adults as well.

The series focuses on a little boy who has just moved to a new town after the death of his grandfather. His inheritance amounts to a broken pocket watch and an old stuffed bear. Naturally, it's not just any toy bear but a super-hero bear in disguise. At first is seems like "Calvin and Hobbs," but unlike that strip, Hero Bear is real and the story, which methodically takes its time, ends up having much more heart. In addition to the wonderful "The Inheritance" mini-series, Mike has not one, but out two oneshots in this series - one came out before the mini-series and the other between issues 3 and 4 of the mini, but both take place after "The Inheritance," since it is the "origin" story. Both are good reads but the set up and pay off with the mini-series makes it an immediate timeless family classic. I'm not using that phrase lightly. It is a family classic. Something you will want to pull out once every year or two and make a family tradition. I mean it really is to comics what the "Peanuts" holiday specials are to television, "The Wizard of Oz," is to film, or "Where the Wild Things Are" is to story books. It's THAT kind of good.

I have no doubt that several decades down the line my son will be sharing Mike's work with his kids. Until then, the two of us are waiting patiently for the next mini-series - "Saving Time."

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