Archibald Saves Christmas

Writer: Dwight L. MacPherson
Artist: Grant Bond
Publisher: Shadowline - Image Comics

Things haven’t been going all that well for Archibald Aardvark. Once the toast of Tinsel Town, Archibald’s showbiz life was turned upside down with the brutal deaths of his brother Andre and friends by a crazed psychopath, with Archibald himself accused of these heinous crimes.

Psychologically scarred by the gruesome deaths and institutionalised as a result, Archibald’s five year stretch in a mental hospital has done nothing to improve his gloomy disposition.

Archibald Saves Christmas

Now living a lonely squalid existence and roaming the dark dangerous streets, Archibald must try to find a way to rebuild his film career, find the psychotic killer who ruined his life and in doing so prevent the further murders of others close to him, including jolly old Santa.

It’s not going to be easy though, for the answers could lie deep in Archibald’s own fragile mind.

Archibald Saves Christmas is the delicious creation of Grand Bond and Dwight L. MacPherson; a comic murder mystery that combines the classic cartoon shorts of the 1930’s with the gritty stylings of a Film Noir, Archibald… is a veritable yuletide treat.

The story takes place in a surreal world where cartoons are very much ‘real’ folk, and in that sense like the Hollywood ‘Toon’ era portrayed in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?; but Archibald… is a modern and in-your-face tale, with moody black-and-white visuals that are highlighted by violent splashes of red - reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Sin City - as well as the odd expletive or three thrown in for good measure.

The writing is both funny and well-paced and the artwork is wonderfully evocative - with classic archetypes and traditions of the ‘Looney Tunes’ and ‘Merry Melodies’ being played out, paying homage to such masters as Friz Freleng, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones, whilst retaining the uniqueness that Grant Bond always imbues his creations.

The only downside to be found is that the Santa connection is for the most part incidental - taking place in the last third of the story - and that the story ends just as quickly as it does, leaving you wishing for yet further adventures involving this troubled aardvark and the strange wonderful world he inhabits.

Will Archibald Save Easter? Eid? Hannukah, maybe? Judging by the quality of this current comic outing, we can only hope that he does.

Archibald Saves Christmas is available to order - Diamond Order code: SEP071950

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  • Mo Ali Mo Ali was born in a haunted hospital and has exceeded all expectations and kept breathing. A digital artist, poet and writer, he needs to find some paid work before the inevitable apocalypse. To make matters worse he lives in Berkshire.