Peanut butter and chocolate. Chips and salsa. Rum and Coke. Some things are just meant to go together.
That’s the premise of Spencer & Locke, a new limited four-book series from Action Lab – Danger Zone. At first, the idea sounds silly, maybe even offensive. Calvin is a beloved comic strip featuring a boy and his stuffed tiger that gently taught life lessons. Sin City was a gritty crime drama chock full of murder, con men and prostitutes.
Here the thing though–Spencer & Locke works. Like a charm.
A Detective and a Stuffed Panther on a Mission
Locke is all grown up now and a police detective. His partner? You guessed it. A 6-foot-tall version of his stuff blue panther, Spencer (complete with a missing eye) except when we see Locke interacting with other humans, then Spencer is back to his stuffed animal form. “Don’t judge,” Locke explains to us. “You probably got weirder friends.”
When we first meet the pair in the new series Spencer & Locke #1, they are sneaking out of the house to play, a la the comic strip characters they are based upon. But the similarities are quickly wiped away as young Spencer gets a right cross from his dear ol’ mom.
Writer David Pepose keeps the story moving through the use of flashbacks, taking our heroes–and maybe the story’s villains as well–back to happier times. As the time shifts, so does Jorge Santiago’s artwork, moving from simple childlike imagery to a gritty urban landscape.
Pepose sets up enough drama and compelling characters to keep us asking questions and coming back for more–blue panther or no.