Comic - Mr Crypt #1

Mr Crypt

Susan Omand goes nostalgic over a skeleton as she reads issue 1 of Mr Crypt from Alterna Comics...

“Say hello to Mr. Crypt! Nobody's favourite suit-wearing moustachioed living skeleton. Down on his luck and feared for no reason at all, can Mr. Crypt and his friendly pet rat make the best of a bad situation?”

Way back in the mists of time, well the 70’s and early 80’s, there used to be a short 5 minute animation at the end of Children’s afternoon TV and before the tea-time news. It could be an Oliver Postgate thing like Ivor the Engine or Bob Godfrey’s Roobarb and Custard or the delightful Kenneth Williams voiced Willo the Wisp cartoon. That’s exactly the kind of thing that Mr Crypt reminds me of, not least because the comic is divided up into seven separate little stories written by Troy Vevasis that serve to introduce different aspects of the character. Each story is very simple, dealing with the trials and tribulations that Mr Crypt faces as he settles into his new life in 1932, having been brought back from the dead by a freak bolt of lightning. Although not always laugh out loud funny, there is a gentle humour to the telling that always raises a smile and the artwork by Aleksandar Jovic is marvellously cartoonish managing to knock all the scariness out of Mr Crypt while retaining the fun aspects of his being a skeleton. I especially liked the stick on moustache in his disguise which regularly blows away as he is being chased by angry villagers and his pet rat looks lovely and cuddly – which they are, I used to have one called Bogart. Fantastic pets.

This is a real departure in tone from what I know of Alterna Comics. Their comics are usually action packed pulse-racers or gore filled horror-fests, both of which work very well for them. However, that’s not to say that this is bad, far from it, it’s just aimed at a totally different demographic. It is being marketed as a comic for all the family but younger readers would definitely enjoy it more than older ones as there is no expectation of really scary stuff and, having read some teenage-level fiction recently, kids are a lot more grown up than they used to be. However this, as a comic or collected hardback annual, would make a superb book at bedtime to read along with five and six year olds and I can just picture the Mr Crypt Halloween costumes now. And, yes, it would make fantastic little TV cartoons if anyone wanted to pick up the idea and such a thing still exists. Have a look at the first few pages, courtesy of Alterna, and you’ll see what I mean.

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Images - Alterna Comics

Buy Mr Crypt #1 on comiXology: here.