etragedy's Action Time Buddies #1 - The Refrigerator review

Worth Every Penny

Actiontime Buddies #1 was one of those Free Comic Book Day giveaways, and thank God for that; I'd be pretty unhappy if I'd shelled out three or four bucks for this.

When I saw the cover, I assumed that it was somehow related to My Little Pony. It is not, though I'm sure the resemblance is not accidental.

The comic contains three stories that feature a faux Australian talking kid (he actually says stuff like "Bloomin' onions!" -ugh!) who is known, originally enough, as 'Kid'; and his companion, the MLP knock-off called 'Bro'. They inhabit a whimsical fantasy world where just about anything can happen. In the first story, 'The Refrigerator', Bro goes into their refrigerator to see if the light stays on when the door is closed, and it turns out that the appliance is actually a portal like the wardrobe in 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. Soon Kid comes after him, and the two engage in battle with some foes that seem to be rip-offs of not only Pokemons, but Ninja Turtles to boot! In the second story, 'The Desert', Kid and Bro play in the desert and take a ride on a glowing, flying snake. In the final story, the two fight a cutesy ninja cat named Artie.

I have no problem with cartoony comics aimed at a young audience, but Actiontime Buddies seems to be so sorely lacking in both the story and art department that it seems to fail even by the loose standards of kiddie fare. I wasn't surprised by the Deviantart URL that appeared under the creator's name - the issue seems to be about the quality of anime fan art that seems to comprise 90% of Deviantart pages these days.

Then I noticed that it was put out by Antarctic Press; Ben Dunn's company. Ben Dunn, for the unfamiliar, rose to prominence as creator of Ninja High School, a faux-manga comic that was amusing for a handful of issues in the late 1980s until the joke got old. Judging by this comic, and the ads for their other titles in the back of the book (Zombie Kid Diaries an amalgam of The Walking Dead and Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Gold Digger - a Final Fantasy-like comic; Time Lincoln - a comic that seems to exist to cash in on the Abraham Lincoln and Steampunk crazes; and How to Draw Adventure Friends - which shows characters that look suspiciously like Scooby Doo, Thundercats, Aquateen Hunger Force, The Muppets and others), it seems that today, Antarctic Press exists to try to cash in on whatever is hot right now by recruiting fanfic writers and amateur artists and rushing product into production. At least that's what this issue of Actiontime Buddies seems to indicate.

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