JUST JOSHING: The Bubba Patrol
Sometimes, you find a book you don’t expect to read. Bubba Patrol is not one of those books I find myself seeking out normally, but am grateful I got the chance to read. So without further ado…
The Bubba Patrol
Created, Written, Illustrated, and lettered by John Anthony Chihak Soltero
Issue One is the quintessential origin story, but way more fun than most I’ve read. Agnew, the stuffed animal/muppet that reminds me very much of a certain stuffed animal cat from comics lore, has Bubba follow her home. Using his cuteness, he’s able to persuade the owners (one of whom looks very much like a certain creator) to keep him with Agnew giving us a thumbs up.
And then, from there the action begins. Bubba and Agnew are on a rescue mission that is two parts bombastic and one part adorable. The whole thing is carried by Agnew and Bubba’s banter. Along the way to their mission which involves laser grids (maybe) and a daring battle with Robot Hamsters, the two characters rescue the rest of the Bubba Patrol.
It’s a simple story but it’s so goofy fun. This book reminds me of Paper Girls with just a touch of Calvin and Hobbes. There’s very much a kid going on an adventure kick that fits this narrative perfectly. The fact that Agnew is a stuffed doll lets Soltero get away with breaking the fourth wall and doing anything he wants to. It works in this universe, and all the characters, including Foley and Grrry.
Also, there are a lot of side stories inside the main story which almost adds to the Saturday morning strip feel in between the pages.
The pencils are perfect for the tone of this story. At first, I thought the color choices were deliberate. Turns out, Soltero only had time to color curtain panels in the story, but in this case, it created a unique effect. Parts of the story feel like a dream because of the constant transition between black and white and color. It creates attention on the panels with color a lot more. It’s an interesting technique, even if it was by accident.
All in all, this book is amazing, and right now, issue four is being funded on Indie Go Go. You can definitely support this amazing book here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-bubba-patrol-issue-4#/ . If you’re a fan of a young adult book that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is the book.
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Next time I do a good old-fashioned science fiction tale with robots (Promise). Until then, stay inspired and keep shining in the dark.