Bamboo Forest Publishing sent me the first two issues of Ward Dizzley’s 100% True Life Adventure Comics Digest for review (the full review will be coming to Mice Chat, soon). I’ve been a fan of Dave Ensign since I first stumbled across his escapades with Chief many years ago. I got to meet him and Chief at the D40 event in May 2011 and they were definitely larger-than-life.
You can see more of Hoot’s and Chief’s exploits over at Mesa Verde Times.
Ever wonder how Hoot Gibson and Chief met and started their escapades?
Dave created a new comic series that tells the story of how he met Chief. This includes their various urban exploration adventures, as well. It’s a very loose set of anecdotes that look at Walt Disney World from the mid-1980s. Both Dave and Chief were castmembers in custodial, which pretty much gave them access to everything. Besides the main adventure in each book, Dave also shares some smaller vignettes that, pointedly, make fun of the Disney Company; whether it’s through an ad for a home version of the Burning Settler’s Cabin (hysterical) or a collectible poster of a “Mean Person of the Magic Kingdom” (brilliant), you can tell that Dave has wicked and acerbic sense of humor.
This is a good thing.
When you have something as culturally relevant as the Disney Company, you need to have some one that’s willing to explore the mythos and corporate culture in a critical way. Dave takes it a step further and zeroes in on how, even in the 1980s, the average castmember thought of working at the Magic Kingdom as just a job. His art is clean, simple and highly effective. When I first saw some of Dave’s work, I thought of John Kricfalusi (of Ren & Stimpy fame). Dave’s characters are more caricature than actual representation and he makes excellent use of color for emotion and background.
I really enjoyed both comics and can’t wait for more from the series. The comics are definitely for adults. It’s not a negative thing, but just the intended audience. There’s cursing and general mayhem, but that only adds to the charm of the work. This is truly an ingenious way to tell the story of Hoot and Chief. It’s part biography, part adventure journal, part sarcasm, part commentary, part tongue-in-cheek and pretty much all brilliant.