Billy & Buddy

Published On February 23, 2011 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Billy & Buddy Volume 2: Bored Silly With Billy

By Roba

Cinebook

Billy & Buddy is another one of those best-selling French language comics that I’m going to be a bit stand-offish about. Not because it’s necessarily bad (it isn’t), but because I simply found it too simplistic, too hackneyed for my tastes.

Billy and Buddy is a simple tale, with simple, one dimensional characters. Billy’s just your normal little boy, with a tendency to get into a few scrapes, often with his best pal Buddy the dog. Buddy’s definitely the smart one in the comic – although maybe not as smart as he thinks. In fact, if you needed any insight into Buddy’s character just have a look at the cover – that’s a great look.

The other members of the cast in this volume include a very typical comic strip dad – very straight-laced, the butt of many of the jokes, prone to outbursts of frustration and confusion. And then there’s mom. Mom’s a housewife, in a very old fashioned 50s mold – which is to say she’s definitely the little woman (only really excusable here since Billy and Buddy first appeared in ’59 and it was a less enlightened time). At father’s beck and call, ready with the pipe and slippers – although sometimes that is for a good reason:

Each strip is a page long and features the sort of gentle humour were used to seeing in American comic strips. In many ways this feels and looks like a European version of Dennis The Menace (the US one, not the far more destructive red and black jumpered UK one). It’s simple, it’s gentle and there are moments – little facial expressions, bits of body language that promise so much – but all too often it’s too simple, the humour’s too gentle and the whole thing seems just a little flat to me.

However, give it to a child (luckily, I have one in the next room) and it’s a completely different thing. Molly enjoyed it, not her favourite she said, but she liked the simplicity and the silliness throughout. So it’s really up to you – adults? Maybe it’s not for you. Children? Definitely worth a try.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.