The Mighty Jambo is a web comic written and drawn by writer and artist George Beedham. It follows the exploits of a cast of dysfunctional metahumans, in a near future alternate reality UK, and has at its centre a wry and keen sense of fun and humour, and is long overdue a MOMB review.
The titular hero of this book, has an ability that’s unique (as far as I’m aware anyway) in the metahuman community. He manipulates jam, and from what I can ascertain, exclusively the strawberry variety. Which is good, as this is of course, the King of all the jams. This is as much as you need to know about this book I guess, because if that doesn’t grab then you may well need to seek assistance in reconnecting with your sense of humour.
Jambo has been on the web for some time now. The first issues of the book were published by George way back in 2006. The series is now up to issue 6 and well into its second arc and in terms of style its best described as a slice of wry British superhero comic book story telling.
Its humour is quintessentially British and it fires geek references at a giddying pace, and it’ll take you multiple readings for all but the keenest of eyes to pick them all up, but this leaves you with the reward of the warm smug glow when you do.
The story thus far has introduced us to an array of characters, all with suitably tongue in cheek names, and full of glorious absurdity. None more so than the animated speed merchant Cheezar, who’s wisecracking makes Spider-man seem like a shrinking violet. He is Jambo’s sidekick and is deliciously stumbling and gaff prone often upstaging his more stoic, jam manipulating, companion. In fact by the time we start arc two we see him take the centre stage.
The stories are available for free (my favourite price point) from www.notregret.com which has a host of comic goodness, including the excellent Not Artistically Strong, a autobiographical comic about George (which I would LOVE an update of) as well as the brilliantly mind warping Remnants, along with 3 books by the talented Richie McCann – Dischordant, MajikMasters, & ArtSouls, all of which are very good if in need of updates.
Jambo though is the real gem of the Not Regret site. Scripting is very strong from panel one as is composition, but (and as has been pointed out by someone far more knowledgeable on such matters than me) George’s art technique and style has progressed in leaps and bounds and has progressed from solid indie, to a polished and tighter style, which would not look out of place in more mainstream published material.
I should of course declare some interest here, as George is a sometime collaborator to our podcast, and having met him at Thoughtbubble 2010 I can report that he is a thoroughly decent chap and very amusing both drinking and breakfast company (please, don’t get the wrong idea, there were separate rooms, it was a hotel) but if I didn’t sincerely feel that Jambo is a little bit different from the webcomic norm I wouldn’t be making it my first review on our new blog.
I should also admit, that I hate reading comics on the computer screen, and find that I often struggle to read multiple paged stories in the medium. However I’m in the fortunate position of having the first five printed editions of the book, and together in the format they are clearly written for, they really come into their own. The story feels at this time as though it would like to shake the confines of the ‘page a week’ format, but any quality web comic of this style should.
With all being well, a trade will appear soon which once released is well worth your hard earned. But better still get yourself to one of the many cons George appears at and buy his books. I promise you won’t be disappointed.