January 29, 2007 | Trades


Doug TenNapel
Image Comics
$14.99 US (Paperback)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

Doug TenNapel is some kind of whiz kid.
He’s the mind behind successful video games like the 1990s classic Earthworm Jim, books like Creature Tech (optioned to become a feature film) and cartoon shows like Catscratch, appearing on Nickelodeon in the U.S. and YTV in Canada.
What makes TenNapel’s work so enjoyable is often a healthy helping of humour, depth and humanity in every character and a highly distinctive art style.
Gear, newly collected for the first time in colour, contains all these elements and much, much more.
This pseudo-prequel to Catscratch (only a few of the characters and the art style are the same) sees four cartoon cats named after TenNapel’s real-life felines: Simon, Gordon, Waffle and Mr. Black on a mission to retrieve a giant robot to help protect their town against the aggression of invading dogs, cats and insects.
The story, which TenNapel admits in his afterword was not well planned in advance and done more as an art exercise, is kind of a mish-mash of genres and tends to meander. But it has heart and its creator’s trademark humour enough to be well worth picking up.

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