Doug TenNapel – Cardboard
Having gotten round to reading some of the comics I’ve bought in the last 6 months I figured I should make a post and let people know how awesome these books are. Doug TenNapel is something of a hero of mine. Not only did the guy create Earthworm Jim (which in itself is enough to be eternally grateful for) but he also prolifically churns out fantastic graphic novels at an intimidating rate. To date he appears to be up to no.15. I’m a little late to the party having read only two. His first, Creature Tech is incredibly fun and for those who love black and white art you get to see some lovely loose brush-work and glorious spot-blacks.
For my second look at TenNapel’s work I chose Cardboard, a much more recent book in which a down-and-out father gives his son a cardboard box for his birthday. To make the best of a bad situation, they bend the cardboard into a man and to their astonishment, it comes magically to life.
A simple premise but from the gremlins type introduction of magical cardboard to the depth of the characters and their arcs this story is a true gem. The story is presented in quite a cinematic style with a firm structure underpinning the story. I literally just read the whole thing in one sitting as the whole thing flowed very nicely and kept me on the hook wondering where it would go next. It helps that the art is so great. You can see the development of an artist from the first work and this is much more mature both in both story and art.
What it has definitely done is cement Doug TenNapel as a creator whom I will continue to collect books from and designate shelf-space to in my burgeoning collection.
You should go explore his website http://tennapel.com/ and I guarantee you will be baffled by the amount of great work this guy does.