Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mr. Stuffins #1 - A Review

Mr. Stuffins #1 (of 3) - Writers Andrew Cosby and Johanna Stokes, Artist Lee Carter, Colored by Pablo Quiligotti.

Premise - First off the picture to the left is not the one I have for the cover. I don't know if they did multiple covers or what, but my cover is a teddy bare sitting at a table with a tux on, a dart gun laid on the table and a stack of oreo cookies and a drink with a straw next to him. Too funny. Wish I had a scanner.
The story gets going very quickly as a man is on the phone telling his wife to get out as he has sabotaged some program, the wife has already been captured. He dumps the program disc into an interactive bear box. As fate would have it a father is taking his son to buy him a toy to make up for the fact that he has separated from his wife and is spending quality time with his son. The nine year old boys wants a bear and the dad wants to buy him a tank and a football.
Once home the broken family syndrome is in full force and as the bear comes to life and acts very strangely the boys remarks about it are ignored. Mr. Stuffins thinks he is a spy on a covert mission, he tortures other stuffed animals for information, forces Zachary (the boy) to take him to school, Mr. Stuffins beats up three bullies who were working over Zach, the mysterious corporation finds out the boy has the boy and the issue ends with bad guys surrounding the house.

What I liked:
1) The story. I was pre-sold on this book based on the premise, but it really delivered. The dialogue back and forth between Zachary and Mr. Stuffins was priceless. Mr. Stuffins is overly serious and Zachary has an almost disinterest in almost everything as he is suffering from his parents separation. Given that this is just a three issue mini-series I thought it was perfect to make the rest of the cast somewhat stereotypical for the parents and bad older sister and other characters as no space is wasted on them (or needed) as the story is about Zach and Mr. Stuffins.

2) The art. It really works for this story. Lee Carter (who I have never heard of) is not going to set the world on fire with his style, but it really works well for this story. Plus he nails making Mr. Stuffins look like a serious teddy bear on a mission.

3) It was fun. I mean flat out this was an enjoyable comic book to read and I could have also read it to my daughters when they were younger and I think they would have enjoyed at a younger age also.

What I didn't like:
1) The muted and overly dark palette used for the coloring. I'm not sure if the choice was made to hide any inadequacies of the art, but it should have been one or two shades brighter.

Grade A


  1. I liked this a lot, too. It had a great sense of fun. It did have a couple small errors that I noticed, though. One was having the bear say the sound effect "click" when he was locking a window. The other was having one of the corporate minions say that the bear was bought by someone "earlier today", when in the time line of the story it's the next day at that point. Somewhat distracting, but the fact that the bear seems to have no recognition that he's not exactly performing his intended function is well played. It's reminiscent of Buzz Lightyear in the first Toy Story. Just a lot more serious, what with corporate goons with guns drawn just outside the door. I'd give it an A- because of the small errors.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. I hope #2 and #3 hold up.