‘Tales of the Brothers Three: The Moose Kisser’ – TPB Review

It is the title and cover that initially have the power of persuasion over the customer, literally enticing them to stop them in their tracks and choose whether or not to even pick up and consider a comic. Well, the cover for Tales of the Brothers Three: The Moose Kisser packs one heck of a sale. Right smack on the front, you have a small boy holding on to a moose’s head for dear life, desperately trying to give it the kiss of life, while two other boys (presumably the brothers) pull at his legs by way of his pants. We are left staring at the boy’s bright white undies, covered in red hearts, and the red lipstick stain he has left on the moose's head, which eerily has its tongue hanging out. This is not just a cover; it’s a story/sketch all in and of itself, reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbs meets Dennis the Menace and The Little Rascals. If I were the marketing person, I would be sneaking copies into locals CVSs this week and stashing them with every bag of Hershey Kisses I could find!

But, to focus on the cute cheekiness of the comic book would be a disservice to both the writers and potential readers, as there is so much more to this collection of tales. Joshua Hauke has effortlessly created a whimsical world where we get to see snippets of the lives of three adorable, unforgettable, very unique, and distinct young boys. Kids truly say the darnedest things, and he captures their voices with the utmost honesty and ease, so you can’t help but bust out crying with laughter, because you can see a child doing these exact things. Of course, Hauke has heightened the situations and timing for comedic tone and hits the nail on the head; his sense of comedy is evident and well executed. He keeps each tale simple, short, and sweet. Each boy has their “quirk” that follows them throughout the tales. This consistency and simplicity help to tie the stories together and keep the rhythm following. Keith, the eldest, has an obsession with being an adult and not just an adult but as old as he can be. He walks around spouting elderly advice, documenting his parents' and grandparents' every word and move, all while dressing like a little old man, drinking coffee and reading the paper. Wayne, the middle son, is best friends with his stuffed animal monster and spends most of his time running scientific experiments. He is afraid of the dark, wants granny hair, and is a hypochondriac who loves to tease his younger brother Dougie. Dougie, the baby, loves to run around naked in a cape and kiss the moose.

Just by sticking with these characters and revolving the situational humor around their personalities, Hauke is able to create easy-to-follow and comedic stories you want to read again and again. At times, the dialogue bubbles can be difficult to follow, which causes some confusion and slows up the comedic timing, but it is easily remedied. This is, in part, because of the inconsistency of the style of bubbles but, also, the pages can, at times, become visually overwhelming with action. More clarification when new short stories were starting might have been useful, as well. I absolutely loved the use of the moose as a narrator throughout the piece. It helped to tie the stories together and was an element that helped to clarify the beginning and endings of major stories for me. This is a comic I want to give to my brilliant best friend with a bottle of wine and say, “Please enjoy after a long day of fun with the kids!” She would laugh hysterically, and then we could proceed to have fun making the recipes inside with the kids. It’s more than a comic, more like a geeky family scrapbook you pass down for generations of tales funny and cautionary, with recipes and tidbits of wisdom. It’s definitely one for the ages and one appropriate and fun for adults and kids alike. I wish more age-appropriate material was written so witty and intelligently. Tales of the Brothers Three: The Moose Kisser is a collection I can see becoming extremely popular, and I hope returns in future series.

Last modified on Thursday, 13 February 2014 16:37

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