Halo and Sprocket: Natural Creatures
I’m very happy to see Halo and Sprocket return with an all-new graphic novel. The characters — the robot Sprocket, the angel Halo, and regular girl Katie — are still exploring philosophical questions and human nature with great humor and outstanding cartooning from Kerry Callen.
In Halo and Sprocket: Natural Creatures, Katie tries to explain to her roommates why people want privacy in the bathroom, societal expectations about women’s body hair, and whether you should kill spiders. The group goes picnicking, where Sprocket tries being human for a while. Katie tries to explain why people cover their mouths when they sneeze, to which Sprocket responds, “If my body wants to get rid of stuff, I don’t think I should catch it.”
Sprocket is charmingly naive, so proud of himself when he figures out, for example, he can spin his head 360 degrees. Halo is aloof but approachable, unless you try to tell the angel that it got the answer wrong in a trivia game. They act as we consider normal… until they don’t, and the reminder is surprising.
This is truly a comic that anyone can enjoy. The humor comes naturally, and the character interactions have surprising depth. Halo and Sprocket don’t expect to be treated like humans, and often confusion results when Katie does so anyway. That’s where the funny comes from, and the insight about human nature. I always come away from this comic with a new perspective on life and what matters. Some of Sprocket’s questions, will stay with me for days, like “why aren’t there any mouse-flavored cat foods?” or (and this one makes no sense without the context, but I don’t want to spoil it for you) “Here’s a photo of a puppy. Do you want to eat it?”
I haven’t even mentioned the terrific art, with the characters feeling very realistic and expressive. It’s easy to read and flows smoothly. Callen uses the comic page to great effect with sounds and structure.