Comic Review: Spencer And Locke, By Action Lab Comics
Gritty, grimy, and fun as hell!
What if Calvin & Hobbes grew up in Sin City? Find out in SPENCER & LOCKE, a dark four-issue crime thriller from Action Lab Entertainment’s Danger Zone imprint. Written by David Pepose and illustrated by Jorge Santiago, Jr., SPENCER & LOCKE follows Detective Locke, who returns to the scene of his horrific upbringing when his grade-school sweetheart, Sophie Jenkins, is found dead in a lonesome back alley. But when Locke’s investigation dredges up menacing figures from his traumatic past, there’s only one person he can trust to help him close the case — his childhood imaginary panther, Spencer.
Synopis via CBR
I’m not going to lie, this book first caught my attention because it had my name in the title. But once I started to flip through the trade after reading the description on the back, I thought it seemed like a pretty interesting story. So, I figured what the heck, I might as well pick it up and see how it is.
The story itself is pretty enthralling; it follows Locke, a hard-boiled detective, and his partner Spencer, a big blue panther. Spencer has been Locke’s stuffed animal/best friend/imaginary friend since he was a kid.
One of the things I like about Spencer’s design is the stuffed animal must have lost its eye at some point, and there’s a button sewn on where it should be. So when Locke sees him “in real life” he has a button for an eye. I just thought that was a cool little thing to add to an already unique story.
Without jumping too much into the story and ruining it for you, I’ll just say it deals a lot with themes of mental and physical abuse. This gives the book a bit of a darker overtone and adds a sense of realism to an otherwise fantastical style story. It also explains why some things are the way they are, such as Spencer’s place in Locke’s world.
I enjoyed the art for this title; it worked really well with the story. I want to say it’s on the simple side, but that makes it sound like it’s not good—which would be a lie. The art style actually works well with the action and all the craziness that takes place in this trade.
The simplicity of it really complements what’s going on and the overall themes of this book. It also transitions well whenever they do a flashback to Locke as a kid with Spencer. It’s the same artist, but has more of a cartoonish style to it.
This looks like it’s only meant to be a mini series, but man, by the time I finished it I was really hoping there would be more. Then again, who knows what might happen in the future; in comics crazy things can happen. You’ll know what I mean once you read this. Also, there’s talks of this getting made into a movie. Which should give you even more incentive to read it.
I’m giving Spencer and Locke…
4 Out Of 5 Whiskey Shots