Pirate Club #2
Written by Derek Hunter and Elias Pate
Art by Derek Hunter
hard to like stories about children. If they’re aimed
at kids, they tend to be so insipid you’d rather take
a brick in the face than stay with them. Then there’re
ones aimed at adults. Better, but they usually devolve into
sentimental muck about the innocence of childhood and “how
much better things used to be." That, or they morph
the children into miniature grown-ups who crack wise about
taxes and politicians.
Club, on the other hand, has the gumption to portray
kids like the rotten, self-centered little bastards they
are and let you love them for it.
second issue picks up with Mikey, John, and Bearclaw abruptly
informing the mother of their late pal J.J. that “he
drowned to death," before scurrying off into the bushes.
Convinced their accidental murder has the cops hot on their
tails, the boys go to their mentor, local ex-pirate/garbageman
Phil, for advice. The old man’s a bit stunned but
manages to advise the Pirates to skip town before the heat
comes down on them (Man, I’m just crankin’ out
the old school lingo today, ain’t I?). The boys rob
their parents, beat up some nerds, and collect on old debts,
pooling their booty together and setting sail for new territories
ripe for plunder.
to admit that the first issue of Pirate Club didn’t
really do anything for me. The art wasn’t very strong,
the plot seemed a bit weak, and the characters were…
well, they were mean little bastards who ended up killing
one of their own members before the issue wrapped. Not the
#2, on the other hand, gets things moving double-time.
the last outing lacked in both piracy and gang warfare ('cause
what else is a club but a gang?), this entrée tends
to both requirements nicely. What I enjoy most, however,
is the way it embraces the idea of being a menacing young
boy. I mean, it sounds weird, but these childhood romps
are almost never about being a kid. Instead, they’re
supposed to serve as some great message on human nature
or society or individuality or some other high-falootin’
case of Lord of the Flies, the combination was
dynamite and it suddenly got a lot easier to imagine the
kids playing basketball across the street crushing each
others’ heads in with rocks. But in every other diatribe
using children to get a message across, kids are just filling
in for adults.
even on South Park.
especially on South Park.
Club isn’t about kids falling into consumerism,
media hype, or growing pains. Cause, ya’ see, kids
don’t look at things that way. To a kid, the whole
world revolves around themselves. They group up into little
tribes and do everything they can to show they’re
better than everyone else. There are no consequences for
anything. Reality? Bah! An honest day’s work? You
gotta be kidding. School? To the plank with ye!
know if I’d call it the next Adventures of Tom
Sawyer, but Pirate Club follows in that same
grand tradition of boyhood fantasy. It’s irreverent,
disrespectful, and even a bit endearing at times. Kinda
like The Goonies gone horribly wrong.
that’s a good thing.