“Buddy Cops” #1 from Nate Cosby and Evan Shaner is a collection of three shorter tales stitched together from issues of “Dark Horse Presents,” but re-packaged for those who didn’t pick up “DHP.” So I guess, technically, this isn’t a new comic. Except it came out this week and it’s new to me.
If it’s new to you — as in you’ve never heard of it — and you’re looking for something different, wacky, irreverent and all-around fun, then you just might want to pick this book up. Dark Horse, like their similarly smaller distant cousin, Image, has been doing a great job finding new avenues of comic booking to mine and fun new stories for readers to enjoy the staples out of. “Buddy Cops” is just such an adventure featuring the “Lethal Weapon”/”Beverly Hills Cop”/”48 Hrs.” Niche that absolutely no one knew was missing in today’s comic book assortment. As in those movies, the characters in “Buddy Cops” don’t get along so well, except here, Nate Cosby celebrates the absurdity of pairing demoted space cop, Uranus, with T.A.Z.E.R., the police robot. The two characters hate each other and Uranus seizes every moment he can to get a reaction from T.A.Z.E.R., mostly to the amusement of the reader. Also like those movies, this comic is not for a younger audience given the propensity for Uranus to be drunk and speaking his mind (among other body parts) in the stories captured in “Buddy Cops” #1.
For his part, Shaner, who has been a commission and internet meme sensation, brings an animated quality to his work that is perfectly suited to crazy adventures featuring giant orangutan monks bearing nuclear slingshots, bears implanted with the personality of Eliot Ness and montages of the cops carrying on without one another under recommendation to cue up Lionel Richie music. Shaner handles his own coloring, adding to the energy of this story and giving “Buddy Cops” #1 a shiny appearance to celebrate its bizarre tendencies. His art is equal parts Chris Samnee, Mike Wieringo, Alex Toth, Ben Edlund and Charles Schultz, but Shaner manages to produce comic art that is both retro-classic and fresh. There’s plenty of detail here and lots of panels with gutter space. Shaner does make use of modern sensibilities and drops in full bleeds, but doesn’t overdo any one particular trick or set-up. Rus Wooton joins in, dropping classic sound effects that declares the absurdity of situations.
“Buddy Cops” #1 is a humorous comic certain to find a following among fans of tales similar to “The Tick.” As a matter of fact, Heather in this issue bears a slight resemblance to an offshoot (pun intended and if you don’t get it, read the comic) of El Seed. I’m hoping we see more of Uranus and T.A.Z.E.R. soon as Cosby and Shaner definitely have a way with producing comics that bring the fun and the funny.