Webcomic Weekly: ‘I Hear The Blues-A-Killin’ Brings You The Frasier Meets Columbo Mashup You Never Knew You Needed
by Richard Bruton
Webcomic Weekly, a regular (sometimes even weekly) look at all things comic and online. This week, the splendid mashup of I Hear The Blues-a-Killin’ by Joe Chouinard, bringing the worlds of two TV titans crashing together as Frasier meets Columbo.
Oh, this is just superb… Joe Chouinard’s I Hear The Blues-a-Killin’ may be a mere 16 pages long, but it’s an absolute must read and one of those things that you find yourself wondering why someone hasn’t done it already. It’s absolutely perfectly done, a wonderful pastiche, full of great one liners and comedy and featuring Chouinard’s excellent cartooning.
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock these last few decades… Columbo originally ran in 1968 and eventually bowed out on US TV in 2003, with 10 seasons and 69 episodes in all. It starred Peter Falk as the shambling and dishevelled Lieutenant Columbo of the LAPD, cigar smoking and trenchcoat wearing.
Frasier was a sitcom featuring Kelsey Grammer’s character of psychiatrist Frasier Crane, who originally featured as a regular on Cheers. Frasier saw the character returning to his hometown of Seattle for a new job as a phone-in radio show and reconnecting with his family, including his psychiatrist brother Niles, every bit as pompous, snobbish, arrogant, and insufferable as Frasier.
I Hear The Blues-a-Killin’ all comes from the idea that Niles Crane has murdered his wife Maris and Frasier, of course, has the perfect idea of just how they can get away with murder…
And if you’re a Frasier fan, you can see just how right Chouinard gets the brothers Crane, in face and in voice.
Of course, from here it just gets more and more silly, with Frasier joining Niles as co-murderer and learning a little more than anyone wants to about Niles and Maris’ activities in the boudoir…
Cue Frasier stepping in with a plan – but of course, with the brothers Crane involved, it has to be overthought, overdone, and overcooked…
So, murder turns into suicide, the Crane brothers are off the hook, and the horror of what they’ve done is forgotten as they find themselves engrossed in their latest pretentious project.
Well, perhaps not…
Oh yes. Here’s Lt. Columbo. Things go from bad to worse and the brothers just don’t stand a chance. Not that they know that though, they’re too busy considering themselves way too important and clever to be caught out by a bumbling little policeman.
Yep, Chouinard’s just absolutely nailed this one. Clever, funny, pitch-perfect characterisation and a great little story. Well worth a few minutes of your time to go check it out.
It’s not the first time Chouinard’s visited the world of Frasier either, his earlier 4-pager Craneborne had the brothers in the world of the Bloodborne RPG.
Other work from Chouinard to read online includes Springfight, a 20-page Simpsons fan comic where Springfield’s residents compete in a anime-style tournament arc, and his webcomics Clown Corps, The Bishop Cases, and Lightninghand, all of which can be found at his website.
You can read the complete I Hear The Blues-a-Killin’ here.
You can find Joe Chouinard at joechouinard.com, Twitter, and make sure you check out Joe’s Patreon.