Comic Book Review: Pork n' Beans #1

Pork n’ Beans (or Pork N’ Beans or Pork & Beans? I get a little confused about that…) is a fun humor comic about a pig named Norman that acts as caretaker for a household of hapless humans. Darcy, Leila, and Mike exist in this odd sort of age between 12 and 24. They act like young kids and they are referred to as kids, but Darcy and Leila have huge cleavage and Mike exhibits the kind of detachment that’s perfected only in the years following two decades of life.

But I guess that’s irrelevant, isn’t it? The point of Pork n’ Beans is to showcase the artistic talent of Matt Ryan, a kinetic and charismatic artist that’s an indie blend of Chris Bachalo and Jeff Matsuda. With that said, anything that blends the clever layouts of Bachalo and the expressive forms of Matsuda is bound to be enjoyable. The only drawback to the art is that it also has Bachalo's occasionally confusing compositions and Matsuda’s drastically angular tendencies. But more than anything else, the art is fun.

The writing by Darcy Naylor and Steve Kanaras is a mixed bag. The majority of the characterization is manic. That’s not bad. It’s just what it is. Some of the humor flows smoothly, while other gags are a bit jarring. Whenever something switches into a parody, it often becomes difficult to keep up with the joke. But when the gags all exist within the forward movement of the plot (and as opposed to diverging from the storyline) the humor is successfully passed from the writers to the readers.

The character personalities are fluid but I think I have a good idea of what we've got going on. I know that Darcy is goofy, Leila is the “straight man,” and Mike is the outlier (the Larry to his Three Stooges, if you will). Norman the Pig is like ALF but with responsibility and a bit of a grudge. All in all, I enjoyed this first issue. This comic book is a fun read with a lot of promise for even better stories in future issues.

6.5 / 10

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