SpongeBob Comics (#55 – 60) – Various

5 out of 5

And in a corner of the comics world I wouldn’t have otherwise cared about, we have the most consistently laugh-out-loudable and clever comedy book on the stands; these issues in particular are standouts, with feature-length bits that are both interesting and funny, and shorts that are zestful both visually and yuk-yuks-wise.

Issues 55 and 60 latch on to a vague mention from the Spongebob cartoon to whip up a two-part tale about a Popeye pastiche and Barnacle Boy’s pop, Barnacle Bill, who’s essentially one giant peg-leg with a head stickin’ out of it.  It’s as ridiculous as it sounds, with Derek Drymon giving Bill the most ridiculous sailor vernakulacer I think I’ve ever read.

Thereafter each issue has a loose theme – lies, Westerns, noir – and offers a mix from our usual stable of artists and writers to, as mentioned, deliver successive fresh cuts.  Kolchalka is up to his usual silliness – take it or leave it but I enjoy the one-and-done vibe – and Maris Wicks continues to find entertaining ways of fish-ducating us.

60 freaking issues strong.  There’s news the series will be ending soon (it’s currently somewhere in the 80s) with parent-publisher Bongo closing shop, but I can’t be the only one surprised by how well this book has continued to fare.