Black Mask Studios



4-Kids-Walk-Into-a-Bank-1I’m a sucker for a good title. A good title can make your book stand out from the crowd. It can serve as a memorable hook to draw in your reader. A good title can live in your brain and make you smile whenever you hear it. Here, try this. I bet you can’t stop smiling:




All great titles that provide a catchy, solid hook to draw in the customer. A catchy hook that is snagged in your brain, so that whenever you hear it, you smile. And now we can add 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK to that list. But like the other titles on this list, 4 KIDS is more than just a catchy title. Much more.

Writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Tyler Boss introduce us to four preteen friends that would rather be playing Dungeons and Dragons and going out for ice-cream than having bloody real-world adventures.

Paige. Strong, decisive. The natural leader of the group.

Stretch. The tallest boy in the 7th grade.

Walter Johnson. So shy, even the font in his speech balloon is tiny.

And lastly, Berger. Oh, Berger. Loud, obnoxious, and absolutely the sensational character find of 2016. Any boy that kills a squirrel and then sits Shiva for two days is tops in my book.

Rosenberg drops the reader into the adventure right from page 1. That adventure happens to be a massive D&D session, but there you go. This opening sequence, wonderfully portrayed by Boss, along with flatter Clare Dezuttie and letterer Thomas Mauer, gives the reader instant insight into the personalities and quirks (oh, the quirks!) of our ragtag group. So when trouble literally walks in the front door, the reader is already emotionally invested in the story.

And that’s just it: when trouble walks in the front door, how would you respond? Hayes, Vernon, Silk, and Skinhead Mike act as our gang’s twisted, evil reflection. And there they are. Standing in the front foyer, asking about Paige’s dad. As Rosenberg cranks the tension up to Eleven, I’d like to think I would be strong and confident, like Paige is. But I know I’d respond just like poor Walter did.

As the kids try to piece together who the bad guys are, and just what they want with Paige’s dad, Rosenberg’s script swings from vomit-inducing tension to laugh-out-loud hilarity. Boss proves to be more than up to the task: from the double page spread that opens the story, to a FORTY EIGHT panel double page spread that is just magnificent. Rosenberg and Boss are putting on a comic-book clinic with 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK #1.

Rosenberg and Boss knocked it out of the park with their previous Black Mask title WE CAN NEVER GO HOME. Now, 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK proves this is a creative team that demands your attention.


Dan Malmon