Webcomics Spotlight: Molly and the Bear

September 8, 2011 at 17:56 (Blog, Comic) (, , , , , , )

All strips borrowed with permission from the author. Click each one to be taken directly to the strip and view them in their entirity. From the first two spotlights I’ve seen that entire strips are too small to get a real taste, so what you see here are just the first two panels of the strips.

This week I’d like to introduce you to “Molly and the Bear” (M&B) by the talented Bob Scott.

I love podcasts. There’s something very liberating about being able to listen to what you want when you want it, unlike regular radio where you’re limited by their schedule. One of the ‘casts I’m subscribing to is “Tall Tale Radio” with Tom Racine, and it was here I first heard about M&B.

To begin with I didn’t really pay attention to the episode (I was drawing while listening), until Tom commented on how Bob had managed to draw the bear to really evoke how massive it really was. For some reason this caught my interrest (no idea why that is) and it made me check out the website afterwards. At the time there were only a handful of strips available, but I really liked what I saw, so it went into my collection of bookmarked pages.

Several months passed by with me not giving the comic a second though, until I one day decided to clean up my bookmarks and found the link there. Checking it I saw a massive amount of new strips available, with a slowly growing cast of characters and the same sense of humor that I loved the first time I visited. The site is now on my regular weekly visit.

Bear has a slightly distorted view on the world.

The comic’s main character is undoubtably Bear, a slightly insecure and perpetually confused bear that somehow can talk. One detail I love about the strips is that nobody question his ability of speech, they just take it for granted. It’s slightly absurd, but suits the comic well.
By his side you find Molly, an 11 year old girl, and the only person that really gets Bear. Among the other characters you have Mom and Dad, Uncle Walter and varius small-time characters that you might or might not see more of in the future.

That would probably confound me as well.

The stories and comedy in these strips are probably what you would call “family safe”, and would fit in nicely in the sunday comics section in any newspaper. Some of it reminds me a little of Calvin & Hobbes, yet still manage to be it’s own thing.
Many strips are stand-alone gags, but there are some small storyarcs here and there, adding a little more character and personality to the cast. You’ll also find a few flashback strips sprinkled in, giving a little more insight into how Bear came to live with Molly.

No, it’s not a MasterCard.

I’m trying hard to describe the art without refering to it as “old fashioned”. Perhaps “classic” would sound better? There’s something about the drawings that remind me of the old newspaper stuff that came out in the ’50s-’60s, and it fits the comic like a glove.
The strips are all done in black and white, with moiré-patterns used to simulate gray, giving the strip a distinct old-time look. The lines are bold and fluid, giving life and energy to the characters. I particularly love the way Bear’s fur looks furry.

At least he’s honest!

So, why do I like M&B, and why should you give it a try?
I can’t really put my finger on it, but there’s just something satisfying about reading something that remain devoid of crass jokes and senseless violence, and manages to remain genuinely funny. I’ve also fallen in love with the art itself.

I urge you to go check it out and have a look for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about Bob Scott and his work (did you know he’s an experienced animator?), check out the artist-section of his site. You’ll also find the interview I mentioned above there, along with several other interviews.
The strips are available at GoComics as well.

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