Chandler, Richy – Lucy the Octopus #3: Any Less The Freak

January 29, 2015



Lucy the Octopus #3: Any Less The Freak

OK, any lingering doubts I may have had about this series are now officially over. Is it OK to call this a series if these books are collections of webcomics? Eh, we’ll leave it to the historians. Who will probably be entirely online, and will have no idea that these books even existed. Assuming that civilization survives long enough to have historians, that is. Wow, have I gone off on a tangent. This is the third volume of this series, and Richy has smoothed out whatever bumps may have existed in the early days and put together a compelling collection of characters. He’s even managed to put together some fairly compelling pets of these characters, which is no small feat. Putting the cast of the characters on the first page was an essential step, as they are all basically blobby sea creatures. Stories in here include Lucy (in disguise) and her ongoing attempts to stay in a popular band (and not get her identity discovered), the life of the new girl who lost all her cool after hanging out with Lucy in past strips, the ongoing attempts of large chunks of Lucy’s family and friends to mess with her in various ways, and a few brief glimpses by the popular kids into what it must be like to be Lucy. The bulk of the issue is taken up by a field trip, that giant monster on the front cover and Lucy and a popular kid getting separated from the group and meeting up with a new bunch of underwater creatures. Who see Lucy as the cool one, much to the chagrin of the “actual” popular kid who’s stuck with Lucy. There’s some nice character development all around this time, and all while Richy still keeps this safely in the “kid friendly” zone. This is what “all ages” entertainment should always be: full of lessons and laughs for the kids, with more than enough of the same for adults. And all without seeming cloying or overbearing. It can be a tough line to walk, but Richy seems to have it nailed.


Chandler, Richy – Lucy the Octopus: I’ll Take What I Can Get

January 14, 2014



Lucy the Octopus: I’ll Take What I Can Get

See? It couldn’t stay all bad for Lucy forever! Oh sorry, spoiler alert. Sort of. It’s complicated! This second collection of Lucy strips does a great job of expanding the cast of characters and giving a few of them more screen time, which is going to go a long way towards building a big universe for this crew. Assuming that Richy is going to keep going with this, which is never a sure thing, but judging from the response from readers that he got offering Lucy life advice it looks like he already has quite a fan base built up. Anyway, the main story in this collection deals with Lucy going to a concert for her favorite band, said band breaking up right after the show and Lucy auditioning for the vacant job of guitarist with the band. Her uncoolness shines through to the band even though they enjoyed her playing, so she doesn’t get the job initially, but things change a bit when she goes back to audition again wearing a disguise. Other subjects in here include her siblings trying to make her more presentable for the audition, another sibling getting the mistaken impression that Lucy is the favorite (with a hilarious strip featuring her father trying to correct the record in that regard, which is only seen as more proof of favoritism), checking in with Sandra from the last issue to find that she’s currently stuck holding the bags for the cool kids (or, as she puts it, climbing the social ladder), and the social pecking order of the school all in one strip. There are two odd artistic choices in here, although I’d hesitate to call either of them “bad” (mostly because I’m not the creator of the strips and cannot judge such things). He runs out of time on one strip, and instead of delaying it for a week he puts out the one finished panel, two black and white pencil drawings and one final panel apologizing for just not having the time to get the strip done. It ended up serving as a nice cliffhanger for the next strip, so no harm done, it’s just that I don’t recall ever seeing a late strip handled quite that way. The other oddity was the final three strips, as they each show a conversation from three different points of view. There’s Lucy recommending a theme for a class project that the other two students liked a lot, but they couldn’t say they liked it without publicly agreeing with Lucy, which is social death. It’s interesting to see how they each processed this contradiction, but this also means that Richy got to use the same strip three weeks in a row and just change the words, so I guess your level of cynicism will determine how you view this. There are a few bonus bits in the back, including Richy briefly drawing another strip, another artist drawing his and Lucy as a human. It’s a solid pile of strips and the concept as a whole is steadily improving, so check it out. And, as it’s a web series, there are plenty of free samples up at his website…


Chandler, Richy – Lucy the Octopus: Better in Small Doses

December 4, 2013



Lucy the Octopus: Better in Small Doses

That right there is a damned clever title, and it must have flummoxed at least one reviewer. This is a collection of his weekly webcomic, which is based on Lucy the Octopus from his Tempo Lush set of ten tiny comics, which you maybe own if you’re awesome. Anyway, Lucy is a teenage girl octopus who is ridiculously unpopular with everybody around her. This collection of 40 strips shows her trying to exist (not really even fit in, as she seems to have already given up on that concept), bonding with her new poisonous pet, trying to stay friends with the new kid who doesn’t yet know how uncool Lucy is, taking beauty advice from her sister (who tells her friends that she isn’t even related to Lucy), and becoming a science experiment from her brother. These stories can get a little grim at times, but Richy manages to keep a light tone through most of them. And the coloring is gorgeous, so even though he mentions that it would be easier to go black and white with the strips I’m really hoping he doesn’t do it. This seems to be an all-ages strip, although I think kids in their early teens would probably get the most out of it. Come to think of it, all-ages is kind of a stupid qualifier, as I’m pretty sure that reading this to a baby would have no effect. I’m wandering a bit, but this is very much worth a look. He also sent along the next issue, so I’ll have more to say about this after I read it. You know, for a complete picture and all that. Or you could just go to his website and see his newer stuff for yourself, it’s a free country. Well, this one is. I don’t know where you are…


Chandler, Richy – Tempo Lush #1: Lucy the Octopus

April 22, 2010



Tempo Lush #1: Lucy the Octopus

Three cheers for the mini comic box set!  I don’t see nearly enough of these things.  Mostly because people don’t create enough mini comics to put one of these things together, I suppose.  This is the first of 10 comics included in this collection, which comes in a tiny and adorable teddy bear/comic holder.  Sadly it defies scanning, but a look at his website should give you a clue.  So how about the comic?  This is a series of short pieces about octopi (a word you don’t get to use nearly enough) that generally manage to be funny.  There’s incomprehensible childhood taunting that makes just as much sense for octopi (tee-hee) as it does for anything else, giving the gift of pets to the little children, accessorizing, wishing for popularity, Lucy’s misguided attempt to stand up to bullying, and a slightly longer piece about how baby octopi are born (and what happens to the parents).  Like I said, it’s generally funny stuff, and I loved how it’s a fold-out comic, meaning that it takes a little bit of puzzling to figure out how it all fits together.  Not too much, as the stories make the order abundantly clear, but I do love the fold-outs for whatever reason.  And did I mention the fact that this whole issue is in vibrant, necessary (for underwater stories) color?  Like I said, this is only the first of 10, so there are plenty more to come.  No price for individual issue, but this thing is roughly $16.50 if you convert it to US dollars.  UPDATE: screw you spellcheck, octopi is too the plural for octopus!  Also, according to Wikipedia, octopuses and octopodes.  You can have those last two, I’m sticking with octopi.