Beaver and Steve
|Beaver and Steve|
|Current status / schedule||Indefinite Hiatus|
Beaver and Steve (also known as The Unfeasible Adventures of Beaver and Steve) was a webcomic by James Turner. The comic, which debuted on 10 September 2004 and continued since on a semi-weekly basis until going on indefinite hiatus per 20 June 2008, chronicled the bizarre and humorous escapades of Steve, a green reptilian creature, and the eponymously named Beaver.
The comic is light-hearted in its tone, favouring short, self-contained storylines with minimal continuity. The brightly coloured artwork and loose drawing style is a reflection upon this whimsical nature. The humour (each comic ends on a joke) is often of a visual form. Also frequent is humour derived from the juxtaposition of the absurd goings-on in Beaver and Steve's world (often caused by Steve), with the down-to-earth reactions of the characters (often Beaver).
A mainstay of the strip is the use of Onomatopoeias, "sounds" made in the world of the comic. Though it is common for comics to contain some sound effects (such as the BEEP! of a car horn) this concept is far extended in the unfeasible adventures of Beaver and Steve. Many actions have their own "sound effect" including "INDIFFERENCE!" (from Emotibot) and "CAKEY AROMA! (from, unsurprisingly, a cake).
The Beaver and Steve archives contain a number of guest comics, from artists such as Ali Graham. Such artists have used the characters in markedly different ways than James Turner. For example, KC Green's guest comic, contrasts greatly with the strip's usual style.
Much of the comic centres around the two eponymous characters. Both feature in the majority of comics.
Beaver is the more rational and pragmatic of the pair. He is often the victim of Steve’s practical jokes and is sometimes annoyed by the unfeasibility that Steve seems to generate. Because he is more level-headed and responsible than Steve, he sometimes acts as an almost parental figure. For example, Beaver has been known to cook dinner for Steve, forbid Steve from playing with ninjas, and make Steve clean up piles of rotten meat on the floor.
While he is usually a loyal and caring friend, there appears to be a darker side to Beaver’s personality. He apparently had no qualms about allowing Steve to be beaten up by a gang of fellow beavers at the zoo, and then accepting Steve’s stolen wallet. Beaver’s grief after Steve’s recent death was only transitory, and he quickly replaced him with a new friend, Stu.
Steve, whose exact species is unknown (though it has been speculated that he may be a dinosaur, lizard or perhaps something to do with the classic arcade game Bubble Bobble) is the co-protagonist of the strip. Steve possesses superior technical expertise, and has been known to create robots, time machines, and other advanced technological devices. However, Steve’s inventions rarely function as planned, often leading to disastrous results.
Steve is much more spontaneous than his companion, Beaver, and is the source of much of the “unfeasibility” in their adventures. Somehow, Steve’s mere presence attracts strange creatures such as sentient turnips, the Shoe Goblin, Satan, and various fairies.
Steve is generally friendly and well-meaning, except to his arch-enemies (Timmy Turnip, The Shoe Goblin, the pandas, the crows and Rupert T Roach). His amiable and overly optimistic nature often renders him oblivious to the sinister intentions of others. This naivety often leads to the unfeasible-ness of their adventures.
Though the two central protagonists dominate the comic, there exist a large collection of secondary characters, some one-shot, others recurring occasionally. This collection includes Steve's perennial nemesis the Shoe Goblin and Rupert. T. Roach, an upper-class cockroach.
Awards and recognition
Beaver and Steve was awarded the title of “Best Newcomer” by the Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards in 2005. In connection with the Best Newcomer award, Beaver and Steve was mentioned on Attack of the Show, airing on G4.
James Turner, the creator of Beaver and Steve, is a British mathematician and computer scientist. He also created the story "Super Animal Adventure Squad" for the British children's comic The DFC, and "Star Cat" for the British children's comic The Phoenix for which he won the best Young Person's Comic in the 2015 British Comic Awards.
- Interview with David Fickling, saviour of the great British comic, The Times, May 10, 2008
- BCA Winners 2015, British Comic Awards, Nov 13, 2015