There’s nothing better than an idea that’s brought into reality thanks to a drunken night on the town and Kris Carter, Dan Harris, Jim Bampfield & Kirsty Winskill have done just that with Bruce Outback released through Attic Studios.
It tells your typical story of a famous Australian Detective who goes back in time with his Koala Bear sidekick to catch criminals that have escaped the last in the past. Strict rules are in place to not prevent those crimes and interfere with the timeline but instead identify the perpetrator and bring them to the attention of the authorities but bugger it, anything goes in this opening issue. The crime in question is a fire at an orphanage in England in the early 1900’s and Bruce is soon whisked away down the timeline and into detective mode following orders from his boss…..and some smart thinking from his furry sidekick.
The case is fairly cut n dry as they arrive just in time to identify their target and get word to the authorities about what’s happening but the twists & turns of Aussie detecting bring with it a whole host of new challenges. Bruce is running into burning buildings before you know it and the hectic pace from Kris & Jim’s story is crammed full of risk, laughs and Koala help. It feels like the warped love child of Quantum Leap & Crocodile Dundee and while the premise sounds ludicrous, the conviction in the lead character Bruce becomes the foundation for a fun comic which is kinda the whole point of comics anyway.
Kris takes on art, colouring & lettering and he does exceptionally well to juggle these elements and it all ends up having a clean, crisp look to it. After the idea came to life it became an animated teaser as part of a Master’s Degree in Animation Kris was doing and while the full story wasn’t converted the trailer and a shortened version of the comic would become the core of the project.
Kickstarter and an update to the story brought this 1st issue to light and it does have the feel of a comic that could/should be animated. I also felt myself thinking of this as an 8-bit video game too and that’s what makes this particular project unique…..it’s got the potential to be all of those and without having to step away from that core premise and solid groundwork that the creative team have put into this first issue. Fun, bold and laugh out loud in places it becomes an infectious opening issue for a new character and the only downside seems to be that it almost ends too soon because of the pace of the story. That being said, the hint at the next case and the cliffhanger at the end was a slick way to leave things and I’m hoping that #2 is more of the same.