We check out the first issue of The Misadventures of Spring-Heeled Jack, a new all-ages comic from the mind of Tom Sparke about an old London thief with a heart of gold and a serious spring in his step. However, can this cartoony cat burglar steal the hearts and minds of readers everywhere or will he be facing serious time left on the shelves?
Publisher: Tom Sparke comics
Writer: Tom Sparke
Artist: Tom Sparke
Price: £4 at tomsparke.com
Set in the vague time of Olden Days England, The Misadventures of Spring-Heeled Jack follows its eponymous hero, a mysterious Robin Hood type who (as the name suggests) springs into action around London to unburden of the rich elite of their belongings. When Jack encounters a young orphan suffering from the chilly elements, he, his heel enhanced agility and his loyalty from the common people set about undoing this crime by taking from the Upper Classed Fan Sealady. However, when Jack discovers what he has acquired from his quick swipe of her riches, he finds himself in possession of not just a cat but also a whole host of new problems.
Tom Sparke has crafted an immensely light-hearted and humorous tale with The Misadventures of Spring-Heeled Jack. While the plot itself is a nicely simplistic and easy going affair, Sparke has created a genuinely likable world containing characters who, despite a lack of focus, feel like their personalities shine through (helped by the included bio pages). Meanwhile, the dialogue and narration through Spring-Heeled Jack is used to great effect, helping to impart a greater sense of hilarity to the story with great back and forths like ‘Honey. Yes Sweetheart’.
Spring is in the air
As for the art, Sparke’s style is a very cartoony style, evoking similarities to Orful Comics, Cat and Meringue and even the Exploding Kittens card game. However, this style works really well with the simple and comedic tone of the story. Meanwhile, the pages are designed so that the the panels are larger and wider than in a normal comic, which also works well in keeping with the light tone. Finally, the same can be said of the character designs, which are also simplistic but incredibly effective, looking easy on the eye and having a uniqueness about them.
The Misadventures of Spring-Heeled Jack is a wonderfully fun and light-hearted comic which is an enjoyable use of time for anyone who doesn’t need something too serious. With a great, cartoony look and an entertaining story, Tom Sparke has added yet another terrific title for all-ages to his repertoire which can easily fill any spare five minutes with great hilarity.