Raised by Squirrels

Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2007
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Raised by Squirrels Writer(s): Bram Meehan
Artist(s): Monica Meehan
Publishers: Panel Press (Self published)
From: com
Price: US$ 5.95

Five years ago Tyler was left for dead in a back alley in Malta by the woman he loved. They both wanted out of S.Q.R.L. (Special Qualities Research Lab) after years of dangerous and morally dubious covert ops, but they learnt the hard way that you don’t always get what you want. So when Rose turns up on Tyler’s door telling him he has to comeback into the fold he knows there isn’t much he can do about it.

Wow, where was this title hiding! A series that combines a few super powered folks with the spy craft of techno espionage is high concept gold as far as I’m concerned. Raised on a diet of grim and gritty British TV spy shows of the late 60’s and early 70s such as Callan and the Sandbaggers, I can’t get enough of this sort of thing, and I’m all excited over finding a comic that operates in a similar genre, even if it is tinged with some of the more flashy traits of the Mission Impossible films.

The plotting in this collection of the first 6 issues in the continuing series injects the reader right into the thick of things while efficiently passing to the reader the details they need to piece together what’s going on behind the scenes. The various characters get their moment in the spotlight acting to drive the narrative. The different aspects of the events are exposed by each character, and the history of the world these folks inhabit slowly falls into place.

The dialogue is curt and efficient, so purple prose here folks. The artwork is similarly simple executed. Gray scale pencil and ink drawing look to have been scanned and given the occasional “special effect” treatment when appropriate. It gives the book a realistic look with people and places that looked lived in. The action sequences are exciting and explosive, giving readers the idea that the folks in this world know they can get hurt and trying their hardest to keep themselves alive. My only reservation is that the pages are often very dark and murky which doesn’t do much to grab the eye of the casual comic shop browser.

The display of superpowers is kept to a minimum in this series. It’s not what physical feats the characters can do but the plot that is important here. It keeps the series focused and makes for an exciting read. If you saw the first two Bourne films don’t bother getting the DVDs, spend your money on this comic instead.

In a Word: Sanctioned.

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