The second collection of the French children’s comics Benjamin Bear/L´ours Barnabé, which is just as strange and at the same time pedagogical as the previous volume. In my review of the first collection Benny Björn på rätt spår I compared this series with the absurd Cowboy Henk, and that impression remains. Fun, unexpectedly drastic and at the same time always with an eye on teaching young readers things about how our world works. So far from dreary educational comics as you can possibly get. Refreshing.
Benjamin Bear is a strange little comic, a bit like a childrens’ version of the absurd Cowboy Henk , if anyone can imagine that… The protagonist is an anthropomorphic bear living in an undefined world seemingly without any humans. The comics spans one page each and always end with a joke, even though the path there often contains some kind of lesson about how the physical world works. At the same time, it is absurd on an almost metaphysical level, as everything seems to be possible in Benjamin Bear’s strange world. The images are simple and clear, and the comics are clearly geared towards the youngest readers. As such, I think Benjamin Bear is excellent in that it combines didactic intentions with a great sense of humor and some pure nonsense.