Issues N' Stuff

There are 11 issues of Space Beaver, and a 12th "chapter" that will be on the 2nd volume reprints of Space Beaver by AiT press. These were all published by Ten Buck Comics, which was the comic publishing alter-ego of Peninsula Comics, in San Mateo, CA.

I skip a lot of details in these individual synopsises and instead have my own snide comments about the silliness of the plot (i.e. why would you bring your girlfriend along on a drug raid?). Here's the rundown of the plot: Space Beaver is a vigilante, fighting small time drug pushers and working his way up against miners of the drug Optimum with the help of his friend Tog, whose family was killed by pushers working for the nefarious Lord Pork. Lord Pork has kidnapped and brainwashed the love of Beave's life, Jackie, into becoming his (Pork's) personal slave. As an added bummer for the Beave, Pork's hired one of the top mercenaries of Anutherurth (the planet this all takes place on) to kill Beave. Read on, macduff...

1: "Rats!" & "Jackie's Return"

This was divided into three chapters. Beave & Tog are introduced with the battle cry "BEAVER HO!" and a sudden rush, guns a-blazin', at some of Lord Pork's cronies, Commander Foxx and Sgt. Hobbes, who flee after losing 18 co-workers. Whilst camping out waiting for the next bloodbath, Beave and Tog use a flashback to discuss the wherabouts of Beave's presumed-dead girlfriend, Jackie, whose body they never found. Beave & Tog try to kill some more foxguards the next morning, but are captured by Commander Foxx, then tortured by Lord Pork. Beave manages to break free but falls into some murky glop and is attacked by giant octopus or something like that...yet in "chapter 2" Beave manages to escape and while roaming Lord Pork's ship is confronted by Rodent, who helps Beave free Tog. However, in "chapter 3," the trio are captured (again) by Jackie, thought long dead...of course they escape (again) and start kickin' more ass, with Beave planning instant revenge on Lord Pork,

 This came out October 1986.
Created, written and drawn by: Darick Robertson
Letterer, tech. guru: Rob Read
Coordinator, group therapist: Tibor Sardy
Front cover colour: Gene Sprague

(image not available right now, sorry!)

The inside cover was just an introduction from the publisher & owner of the comic book store, Tibor Sardy. It was badly punctuated. Four killer drawing were included at the end of the issue; according to Darick, these four drawings part of his final for his art class in high school.

2: "Revenge!" More being captured & escaping...

Beave's running around, looking for Lord Pork and adding a lot of corpses to the hallways of Pork's space fortress. Tog & Rodent are also running around creating their own body count while looking for weapons and a way out. Beave finds Pork's chambers and before he can cut Pork to pieces Jackie apprehends Beave and of course Beave is captured again. Didn't see that coming. Before Jackie can slice & dice Beave up Tog steps in, rescue Beave, who wants to use the opportunity to cut Pork up into riblets. Tog stops him, fearing that Foxguards might have a problem with it. Not like Beave & Tog can't handle themselves, but anyway...They run back to a loading dock where Rodent is adding another large body count...the trio leaves then for Anutherurth.
Space Beaver Vol.1 No. 2 was released in January of 1987. The inside cover featured a picture of Darick Robertson. The end of the issue features four more cool drawings with inane titles added at the bottom and several drawings of all the main characters, including Stinger, who had not been introduced into the story yet. Also, letters from readers are printed in the back and answered by Space Beaver himself.

3: Where everybody knows you're wanted

Back at Max's, Beave stops a bar fight between this porcupine and a drug addict while Tog explains the whole story of his & Beave's life (another set of flashbacks). The whole thing is mainly an origin thing common in comic books. Anyway, here it is: Tog was a handyman working for Ernest Badger, who is president of Badger Motor Co. ("It's A Badger! (Tm)). Tog would bring his kid Mikey over while he worked, and Mikey would play with lonely picked-on 'Beave. Beave & Mikey grew up, and Mikey became a drug addict. His mother found out and when she followed Mikey to see where he was gettin' the goods from, she was discovered by the dealers and killed, and so was Mikey. Beave & Tog grab some Badger Motor Co. supplies and prepare to dispense justice. Outside of the flashback, Pork hires a certain porcupine to kill Beave.

This issue came out in February 1987 and featured another four cool drawings, all dealing with Stinger (he was also on the back cover in full colour). The inside cover had drawings of the Ten Buck Comics staff and on the back inside the letters page (Dam Mail) were answered by Tog and featured Beavermania, the Beave' fan club (composed of anybody who wrote in).

Stinger sets a trap for Beave & his buds, who of course go for it. They are about to raid a drug mine but instead are ambushed by Stinger & Lord Pork's guards. They run like hell into a forest nearby and Stinger takes them all down one by one... This was published March 1987 and the front cover was coloured by Ann Hatchett Sprague. The inside cover had a drawing of Beave from Shepherd Hendrix (???) and Dam Mail was answered by Darick and Tibor. Darick added four drawings of Tog, Beave, Rodent and Stinger, and on the next page had an advertisement for t-shirts with those drawings on them...

 There was also a parody of Space Beaver released between #4 and 5, featuring a mouse in Tog's place. "That was a serious attempt at their own launch. It was basically a rip off of my failing idea! How lame can you get? At least steal from something sucessful. There were panels that you could compare to issues of Beave that were obviously heavily consulted upon as this thing was created."

5: More ass kickin'!

Beave has a horrible nightmare about Pork & Jackie and wakes up to find himself in a forest with a pissed off Tog & an injured Rodent. The trio learns of another drug mine nearby and, realizing that there hasn't been a large body count since issue 2, they decide to go for it, . Meanwhile, Lord Pork is really pissed that Stinger hadn't killed off Beave yet and takes it out on Jackie. This angers Stinger, who kinda gives the message to Pork to not do things like that again because it is bad, and Pork gets mad at Stinger...

#5 came out June 1987 and the back cover was another full colour drawing of Stinger. Mark Bode (Miami Mice) donated his version of Space Beaver for the inside cover; four more character portraits were added: Jackie, Lord Pork, Commander Foxx and Sgt. Hobbes. An ad for previous issues was added with the t-shirt add. Darick answered Dam Mail.

Darick says that this was his favorite SB issue, and it definitely stands out from the rest those moments.

6: More origin stuff

Rodent is in the hospital attempting to recover from the poison he unwittingly recieved from Stinger in issue 4 and his whole life flashes past his eyes, including his job at a comedy club where he witnessed Space Beaver & Tog kick a lot of Wolf Guard ass, destroying Rodent's workplace in the process, probably causing Rodent to no longer have a job and as a result leading him to a life of vigilence...Jackie & Stinger get a little friendly, well, as friendly as Stinger can get with anybody.

 Published September 1987 and featured art from Mike Grell (Green Arrow); the back cover was a full colour picture of Beave and crew. Darick managed to squeeze in a few jokes from a animal comedian named "Bobcat," who apparently talked funny and acted stupid. Sure enough, as Darick explains...

 "Trivia note! I actualy fashioned the Bobcat comedian after Bobcat Goldthwait, (Police Academy 2, Scrooged, Hot To Trot, and my all time favorite as those previous ones sucked, SHAKES THE CLOWN! If you haven't seen it, track it down and rent it. Adam Sandler's first screen appearance!) whom I met and got his verbal permission from to do that parody of him and use his name. That joke he's telling in #6 is actually a Bobcat Goldthwait joke from his set. He liked it, and the local DJ/comedy promoter did too. So much so that I did a radio on air interview about the book, and he was entertaining the notion of publishing his own comic for me to draw with animal parodies of all the local comedy talent doin' the comedy scene in an alternative animal world. Never happened though, but for a while, local comedians knew who I was."

7: Porky's revenge

Lord Pork gets pissy at Stinger and decides to send all his test subjects who are all higher then hell and wanting more to kill Stinger. Not a good move, as drug addicts aren't the most dependable of all people. Especially if you want them to do something other than try to get over the muncies and giggle. Stinger deals with them and is more than angry about this and decides to, you know, talk things out with Pork. Beave has more nightmares, but thank goodness for alcohol. And that's about it.

This came out in December 1987 and featured artwork by Gene Sprague and Dave Williams (staff artists for Ten Buck Comics?). It was supposed to be written by Ten Buck publisher Tibor Sardy, but, according to Darick, Tibor had only gotten a few pages in before giving up and Darick ended up finishing the issue Beave answered Dam Mail once again and the Beavermania list was growing...


Beave flashes back on his friend (& Tog's son) Mikey while Jackie thinks about getting away from Pork, but what about Stinger?

 This was published April 1988 and featured more art from Ann Hatchett and Darick's early drawings of Space Beaver. The publishers, Rob Read and Tibor Sardy, addressed the problem of distribution (which appeared to be a BIG problem, I guess) in the Dam Mail.

9: Crossbow Chronicles

special thanks to for the write up:
Stinger tells Lord Pork he's leaving because Pork set him up. After he is offered millions to stay, Stinger still leaves, not wanting Pork's money. Then Pork commands his guards to sieze Stinger. Stinger thrashes them all and departs. Beave and Tog pick up Rodent at the hospital and go to Beave's dad's house to get some protective uniforms.  We find out that Beave has a distant relationship with his father. Meanwhile Jackie comes to Stinger's room.  She tells him he's the only friend she has on Lord Pork's space cruiser.  She asks Stinger to take her with him.  He says he can't take her with him, yet, but he'll be back. Stinger leaves and says goodbye to Sgt. Hobbes in the docking bay. Then Stinger takes off in a single fighter set to explode.

In the end there's a special story of Stinger's earlier days, "Crossbow Chronicles."

Sergio Aragones (Groo the Wanderer) sent in artwork. There are 169 listings in Beavermania. The back page says, "Stinger his own book, coming soon..."

Thanks! Also on the inside cover of SB #9 (August 1988) is the Ten Buck Comics group warrior portrait of the staff. Darick is holding a laser gun and a sword. Gene Sprague also included a schematic of Tog's "It's A Badger (tm) Tortoise Shell," which features a 400-megaton laser cannon. The Aragones art is a sketch of Groo the Wanderer about to have a fray with an unsuspecting Beave from the cover of issue 8. My copy was picked up by Matt Holliman, who stopped by Peninsula comics one day, and is signed on page 1 at the bottom. Cool.

10: Violence, Violence, Violence...

I guess Stinger worked things out with Pork, who let Stinger have a small ship to leave with. Of course, it's rigged to explode, but Sgt. Hobbes decided to be nice and make sure the bomb wouldn't go off until Stinger reached Anutherurth. Beave & his buds raid one of Pork's warehouses and, before they start blowing things up, discover who Pork's suppliers are, not to mention find themselves faced against several dozen of Pork's troops. The trio manages to escape (duh) and run like hell, but stop once they realize they had some bombs back in the warehouse and blow the place up. Back at Max's, Beave is gettin' plastered, and thus can not think that rationally when Stinger approaches Beave with a deal. Stinger, trying to be as nice and understanding as he possibly can, beats the crap out of the trio and convinces them to all work together to get rid of Pork.

 Darick experiments with humans instead of animals in the end of the issue, which was published December 1988. It was rather odd to see Beave & co. in human form; Stinger looks like Kurt Russel from Escape From New York. Dave Sim (Cerebus) sent in artwork and well over 160 people were listed in Beavermania.

11: The Rescue Pt. 1????

Special thanks to Matt Holliman for stopping by Peninsula comics and picking up a copy of this for me. Okay, in Issue 10 Tog tells Beave (under a bit of duress) to listen to Stinger's proposal. When Beave & Stinger are talking about it, Tog doesn't say a word. In 11, right off the first splash panel, Tog demands to know if Beave is sane or not for listening to Stinger. Then we cut to a scene where Jackie is upset over the news that Stinger is (presumed) dead from issue 10's sabotage attempt on Stinger's ship. The next 20 pages are a sudden rush of 2-fisted action, where Stinger's plan pretty much entails that he and Beave just crash into Pork's ship and start shooting at anything that moves. Tog & Rodent enter another port in search for the ship's core to, in typical Star Wars fashion, blow the ship up. And Jackie, thinking that there's no escape from the ship, thinking Stinger too dead to rescue her, is about to commit suicide. And Sgt. Foxx has a sinister plan. Next issue: Death!

 ...and that's it for SB # 11 (April 1989). Story & Layouts by Darick, but the whole issue was inked by Chris Alexander, who painted the cover, who added a five page extra, "The Lesson," about Stinger in some sort of merc commando deal where he's possibly being set up. It doesn't look very good. It doesn't read very good. It's just not very good. It doesn't help that Stinger's mane of quills is drawn really high. The cover is Stinger & Beave fighting it out amongst a swarm of Foxguards (much similar to the proposed cover for The Tick #13, which this predates by at least 3 years). There's also various lines at the bottoms that may have been a damage to the original art en route to the printer, and kept in & scanned for the final printing. There is no back cover art. The inside drawing comes from Ove Wahl from Sweden, a drawing of Pork leading Tibor Sardy by the pony tail, with the caption "Fat is beautiful." There's a list of beavermania fans on one page and then on the back inside cover, some bad typeface of the offers for various SB original art. No letters or comments from the publishers.


First, just to let you know, there is no actual 12th issue. This chapter appears in Space Beaver Vol. 2, the second collection of Space Beaver that you should have read about when you first came across this page. Astronauts In Trouble/Planet Lar publisher Larry Young agreed to reprint all 11 issues of Space Beaver as long as Darick would provide a new chapter that continued where #11 left off over a decade ago. So Darick did, 24 pages of pure furry fury (he's going to kill me over that one) that ends the long battle between Lord Pork and Space Beaver, paving the way for adventures beyond the realm of SB that we'll probably never see. And if we do see, there's hints here and there of what will be involved.

So, anyway, Beave and Stinger are cornered by several fox guards until one of the soldiers flys a little too close to Stinger in a "sky pod," which Stinger commandeers to push back the rest of the guards. Meanwhile, Tog and Rodent find themselves found by Hobbes, who has his squadron help Tog & Rodent set up the bombs to blow life support. Isn't that nice of him? Tog & Rodent are understandably shocked and confused.

Pork is shitting-in-his-pants scared.

Beave & Stinger split up, Beave after Pork and Stinger into Jackie's last minute, hare-dangling (get it? OW STOP BEATING ME!) rescue. Pork makes a pathetic attempt to run away from Beave and barely escapes into another room, where we see him come across someone he apparently knows. As Pork starts bitching about where this person was, this person fires a hole into Pork's head and that's that, "the bacon is fried." (I'm trying not to give it away here, okay?)

Tog & Rodent are given a ship by the generous Hobbes, who tells Tog to stop whining and join the new anuther-world order. Tog waits around in the ship as the bay starts imploding until Stinger runs in with Jackie and orders Tog to take off, even though Beave hasn't made it back. With only seconds to spare, Tog has to lift off, and soon they're on their way back to Anutherurth, Beave clinging on for dear life to the retracting landing gear...

And so ends Space Beaver. In one issue we see some 80's B&W funny animals experience more in the sense of heartbreak, disappointment, and closure than most literary and comic figures. Beave coming across Pork's dead body (oh, and peeing on it) may have fulfilled his prophecy, "He's done too much to me to walk away without seeing him dead and pissing on his corpse," but having passed up the opportunity to make sure Jackie got out alive to only see that someone else had beaten him to Pork must have been just a little disheartening. Does that make sense? "I didn't get to kill him, I'm heartbroken." I am a tool.

The 24 pages seem to go by really quick but so much is packed in to complete the story arc of a once on-going series with enough left over to hint that more could said on the adventures of the current cast for another series (not bloodly likely, though). The art is detailed and heavy on the black, and with so much action, huge interior shots of Pork's ship and a cast of hundreds (mostly dying), some of it looks too crammed in for the size of the pages. Meaning: this would look great on bigger paper dimensions; Darick's current work features well detailed figures and immense city skylines, but rarely shoved into 6 panels per page. Despite the perspectives of looming loading docks, their tiny panels give a claustrophobic sense to the ship, adding to the suspense of "will they make it out?" The writing is massively improved. With no other choice than the quick pacing here, the dialogue is to-the-point and fun when defying the "witty action movie" banter you would expect. "If only I had prepared something to say..." says Pork's assailant.

Story completed, Tog, Rodent, Stinger & Jackie are on their way home for plenty more surprises...