Review: The EelMan Chronicles Volume 1 (Fenbeast Publications)

We were lucky enough to discover Chris Spalton’s outlandish tales about his dad’s antic in Norfolk in their earliest form. But with a new collected edition of The Eelman Chronicles Volume 1 now available we get to see them in all their glory, and ask if this can be a catch of the day or will it be one that gets away.

Publisher: Fenbeast Publications
Writer: Chris Spalton
Artist: Chris Spalton
Price: £9.99 from Chris; Gumroad Store

Within the Eelman Chronicles, Chris Spalton delves into the life of his father John, whose day to day lifestyle as an Eel fisherman (or the titular ‘Eelman’) is found to have been interspersed with a large and varied number of random interactions and  adventures. From driving across an injured burglar (from a rather famous robbery) and his invitation for a royal event to his meeting (and subsequent cheating by) a famous tv personality and his vast array of animalistic interactions, the Eelman chronicles tells the extraordinary story  of an unbelievably extraordinary man.

Chris Spalton has produced an unbelievably enjoyable comic with the Eelman Chronicles, with it coming across as fun, funny and totally light hearted. This entire issue is obviously a labour of love by it’s creator to idolise his apparent hero in a vibe similar to the book ‘#%&£ my Dad says’ and make the reader laugh and smile from start to finish. John ‘Spalt’ Spalton is such a lovable and endearing character in this title, with Spalton Jr having portrayed his father in such a warm glow of an homage that it just emanates how much son loves father.

Spalton’s art has a very Vince Hunt on Red Mask from Mars kind of vibe to it. It’s incredibly cartoonish but this adds to it’s charm as every character, location and creature has a look which just enhances the humour of the issue. Spalton utilises a layout for this title which is reminiscent of kids comics found at the local newsagents, with the hilarious art not only bringing levity to the adventures throughout Spalt’s life but also cementing the humour of the book with things like ‘cut out Spalt paper doll’ and a find the golden eel maze. In fact, the only thing this is missing is a cheap eel toy attached to the front cover.

The Eelman Chronicles is an incredibly silly read which has no deep meaning or any lasting ramifications. However, it is these features which make it a breath of fresh air. Chris Spalton has created a easy going, cheerful read which anyone can jump into and that, through it all, shows off the immense heart and soul of a man whom, for Spalton, might just be the greatest he’s ever met.