The Phoenix Weekender – Issue 234

Published On July 2, 2016 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Comics For Children, Reviews, The Phoenix Weekender

Time once more for a quick peruse of the best childrens’ comic out there (in my humble opinion)…. it’s our regular look at The Phoenix….

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Oooh… Tamsin and the Dark by Neill Cameron and Kate Brown really is getting a bit good… and rather dark and threatening as well. There’s a baby gone missing, and Tamsin’s brother Morgan seems to know just where to look. Oh, he’s changed recently, mean, moody, teenagers eh? So it’s down into the the dark to find the Buccas….

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Oh Tamsin, you’re about to get in deep, deep trouble!!!

And speaking of Neill Cameron, it’s a triple bill from him this week, with cover featured Morgar The Barbarian causing much head scratching on the editorial pages, seeing as this episode, continued from back in issue 180, appears to be taking place before that one. Time-twisting silliness a plenty…

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But best of all, we get more Mega Robo Bros by Cameron where the newly famous Freddy has let the attention rather go to his head. Brother Alex isn’t quite so media friendly but he’s been persuaded to appear on TV for an interview. He’s dreadi ng it, but both boys are about to get a wonderfully funny lesson in the fleeting nature of Internet fame….

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Now, in the non Neill Cameron parts of this issue….

Jamie Smart’s Bunny Vs Monkey does the silly so very well, every two-page episode packed with panels of particularly funny stuff. This week, there’s a night-time camping school excursion led by the Ranger. Oh, what could possibly go wrong?

Well, there’s always this….

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Oh yes.

“Right. We’re all going home. And we’re not telling ANY of our parents about this.”

Wise words Mr Ranger!

Dan Boultwood’s Squid Squad returns for more punchy undersea adventures. Faced with Academicron, brain-draining super villain of the Eleventieth dimension, what is a Squid to do?

“Imprisoned for Aeons deep beneath the ocean, I am now free to feed on the minds of all who dwell here and increase my all-powerful intellect to even more all-powerfulness!”
“I… uh… um… Enough talking, more punching!”

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Jess Bradley’s Squid Bits (more squids? it’s an obsession!) keeps the surreal silliness coming with another slice of Red Panda rage…

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And finally, ending the issue, another episode of Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham’s John Blake: The Mystery Of The Ghost Ship. Rescued Serena is beginning to discover just what trouble she’s in right now as she chats with John Blake…

“John, the sailor with the white shirt – ”
“Charlie.”
“Charlie. He said you all come from 1929. Is that true?”
“Well, some of us do. Charlie comes from 1788.”
“What?”
“He was a deckhand on one of Nelson’s ships.”

It’s all a bit down the rabbit hole for poor Serena. The strip is slowly developing a pace all its own, slow and steady divulging information, maybe a little too slow for weekly serialisation but it’s potentially going to be a fabulous complete story. And no, I still can’t show you the art!

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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.

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