Hot Pools #1

Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Hot Pools #1 Creator(s): Ned Wenlock
Publishers: Self Published
From: New Zealand
Price: NZ$ 3.00

This nifty little mini comic is part one of a proposed four ‘parter’ and contains four short, strangely quaint tales from Kiwi Ned.

“Pondwater” [the first tale]is basically an environmental warning of what could be growing in our polluted waterways and this theme of something rotten entering a seemingly normal environment tends to run through most of what is on offer here.

“The Monster of Barrington Mall” tells the tale of a somewhat gross monster who stalks the local shopping mall helping and hindering local shoppers. The art work here and throughout this comic is disarmingly cute. Disarming because the narratives are actually quite sinister and the juxtaposition between that and the Lego styled characters is both effective and amusing.

The most memorable tale for me is ‘Pipe Industries” a story of a young factory worker trapped in a repetitive, tedious factory job. He is ‘mentored’ by Mike [Smelly Mike to those who know him] one of the longer-term employees and something of an aspiring inventor.

Now this could be just a simple tale of the frustrations felt by production line workers but Ned gives the tale a macabre little twist at the end that centres on cold weather and decomposition. It leaves us wondering whether Mike’s last comment is metaphoric or literal and that alone is enough of a hook to ensure that I will track down part two for an answer.

This is a cute comic with an evil little heart. It serves as a bit of a teaser though as it is very much a mini comic. I hope that part two is not too far away and that it is not quite so ‘mini.’

In a Word: Squishy.

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