Tag Archives: Boom! Studios

Review: COADY AND THE CREEPIES #1 (of 4)

COADY AND THE CREEPIES #1

Here is a comic with a twist on Scooby and the gang. Instead of a bunch of ghost-hunting teenagers, what if one of those meddling kids was already a ghost? Writer Liz Prince (Tomboy, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?) and artist Amanda Kirk team up for this four-issue comic book series, COADY AND THE CREEPIES, published by BOOM! Box, an imprint of BOOM! Studios.

In this first issue, we are introduced to a triplet sister band, The Creepies, with Criss, Corey, and Coady Castoff. They are all involved in a tragic van accident that scars Corey, leaves Criss in a wheelchair, and kills their tour manager…and, unbeknownst to them, actually kills Coady. She’s now a ghost, you see, although not fully aware of it at the start of our story.

Page excerpt from COADY AND THE CREEPIES

A fun part to this comic is that this is not your typical pop band scene. Instead, Prince went with a punk scene and plays with that harder edge. It’s all about attitude and keeping face. The guys in the band, The Boneheads, are especially competitive–and obnoxious. Check out the energy in Kirk’s drawing, reminiscent of Gary Panter. This comic packs a lot of power!

This is an inventive and engaging supernatural/band on the run mashup. And there’s plenty of local flavor too. Just as Coady is getting a handle on not exactly being alive anymore, everyone must deal with the ghost of La Llorona who haunts the Santa Fe River. That definitely conjures up a Dia de los Muertos vibe. Lots going on for a first issue. In terms of a rating, I give it a full four stars.

Coady and the Creepies #1 is available as of March 15th. For more details, visit BOOM! Studios right here.

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Filed under Amanda Kirk, Boom! Studios, Comics, Comics Reviews, Ghosts, Liz Prince, Supernatural

Review: GRASS KINGS #1

GRASS KINGS #1

Robert is the king of the Grass Kingdom. And his older brother, Bruce, is the sheriff. All works out pretty well for this tucked away off-the-grid community. That is, until outsiders intrude. Then, things can get complicated. And so we set off on this rural mystery series, GRASS KINGS, written by New York Times bestselling writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT); illustrated by Tyler Jenkins (Peter Panzerfaust); published by BOOM! Studios.

GRASS KINGS page excerpt

The sheer beauty of the land is brought to life by the artwork of Tyler Jenkins. The folks hid away are not quite as pretty. And Jenkins has a way of brining out their cunning as well as sense of loss and desperation. Matt Kindt has crafted a story about people who desperately wish to be left alone. However, nothing is ever that simple. Early on, Kindt and Jenkins provide an overview of what the Grass Kingdom has been like for the last 800 years leading up to the present day. Idyllic, sure. But there’s always the human element and people will do what people do. Things that may not quite fit with such a bucolic setting.

GRASS KINGS page excerpt

This first issue takes a lyrical pace and then steadily unveils something sinister. The Grass Kingdom does not tolerate trespassers. In this first issue, we have an exchange between Bruce, the official gatekeeper, and Lo, a local kid who has wandered off from the neighboring Cargill territory onto Grass Kingdom territory. Bruce warns Lo that he would already be dead if his brother Robert had caught him. Bruce even tries to appeal to Lo and ends up giving him a quick tour. Lo is unmoved. But Lo can’t help it. He’s sort of undercover investigating a missing person case and a possible murder.

GRASS KINGS #1 is available as of March 8th. For more details, visit Boom! Studios right here.

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Filed under Boom! Studios, Comics, Comics Reviews, Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins

Review: BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1 (of 4)

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA is a four-part comic published by KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios. It is written by fantasy author Sam Sykes (Aeons’ Gate) and drawn by Selina Espiritu. It is a very strange comic that deftly defies logic. And kids will love it.

The whole thing is refreshingly odd. We begin with a family gathered in a boardroom. The patriarch, a celebrity restaurant magnate, lays out his plans for the future of his business. The father has been suffering from an illness and does not have long to live. His plan is to have all his heirs, his 15 sons and one daughter, compete in a winner-take-all restaurant contest.

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1

The one daughter, as the title clues us in, is Brianna. The biggest challenge for Brianna, according to this story, is Brianna. Well, her insecurities. Okay, that could make sense. And then our story keeps getting weird. Everyone in the contest must find a city in which to launch their restaurant competing in the contest. There had not been any prior hint of the supernatural but now it turns out that the only place that Brianna can find on her budget is Monster City, which is populated by real monsters. But, as I say, kids will eat this up.

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1

But even a kid might scratch his head just a little as our plot unfolds. No need to scratch too hard but just a little. Turns out that, once Brianna arrives in Monster City, Suzan, a surly monster, wants to work for Brianna. She has no particular interest in the restaurant business, or in human food, but she forces her way into a job. She’s a monster and she does not eat human food. Nor do any of the other monsters in town. But Brianna is such a good cook that maybe she can lure monsters to her restaurant. Silly, yes. But, I got to say, it is refreshingly odd. The artwork by Selina Espiritu is joyful and delightful. The colors by Sarah Stern give everything that extra pop.

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1 is published by KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios and is available as of March 1, 2017.

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Review: ADVENTURE TIME #62

ADVENTURE TIME #62

ADVENTURE TIME #62

Mariko Tamaki provides a delightful script and Ian McGinty provides the charming art for ADVENTURE TIME #62, published by BOOM! Studios, about a contest to see who is the best Princess in all of Ooo.

I thought this issue was a hoot. I was glad to see that it was left on a cliffhanger. It will take more than one issue to figure out who is the best princess of them all. This issue also gives us some fun back and forth between Finn and Jake as each tries to top the other’s comments about the competition.

Mariko Tamaki wrote, and her sister Jillian Tamaki illustrated, “This One Summer,” an award-winning graphic novel published by First Second Books in 2014. For this Adventure Time comic, Tamaki’s script plays off the vast landscape that is the post-apocalyptic Adventure Time wonderland. She has gathered princesses from various kingdoms implying that there are an endless variety of princesses and kingdoms. That said, some key players stand out like Lumpy Space Princess, who isn’t officially a princess at all but who forces her way into the competition.

Mariko Tamaki and Ian McGinty / BOOM! Studios

Mariko Tamaki and Ian McGinty / Boom Studios

Ian McGinty has worked on a number of titles for BOOM! Studios. He is the creator of the WELCOME TO SHOW­SIDE comic and ani­mated series. For this Adventure Time comic, he provides his lively distinctive style to yet another excellent piece of work. Such otherworldly characters as Finn and Jake, already quite a jittery pair, are even more animated in the hands of McGinty. He also is quite good at composing compelling scenes and keeping everything moving at a dynamic pace or implying a constant frenetic energy.

ADVENTURE TIME #62 is published by KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios and is available as of March 1, 2017.

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Filed under Adventure Time, Boom! Studios, Comics, Comics Reviews, Humor

Review: REGULAR SHOW: A CLASH OF CONSOLES

Regular Show Boom Studios

Mordecai, a blue jay, and Rigby, a raccoon, are the poster boys for millennials lacking direction and money in a world still reeling from the Great Recession. “Regular Show” misadventures are aired on Cartoon Network back-to-back with similarly loopy “Adventure Time.” If you are looking for a snapshot of where we are today, a third of young people (18-31) are reported to be living with their parents according to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center. And a lot of millennials are watching “Adventure Time” and “Regular Show.” They are also reading comic books, published by BOOM! Studios, based on these shows. One current title that sums it all up quite well is a new original graphic novel, REGULAR SHOW: A CLASH OF CONSOLES.

RegularShowBoom

This is a story about two regular guys going against the system. The quality of Mordecai and Rigby’s leisure time is at stake when the big three video game companies release all new consoles on the very same day making all previous games obsolete. In the heat of the chaos that ensues, our heroes find themselves on opposing sides of an all-out gaming war. This book is written by Robert Luckett and Rachel Connor with artwork by Zé Burnay. The story and art are a lot of loopy fun appropriate for all ages. The dialogue is snappy, the pace is upbeat, and, if you sense there is more going on, there is! This is a not too thinly veiled tale of corporate greed. Corporations are fighting an all-out war for dominance and they are more than happy to have their customers be the foot soldiers. Puckett and Connor’s script raises this fact to a hilarious level of the absurd. So, in this case, we the readers win.

REGULAR SHOW: A CLASH OF CONSOLES is a 144-page trade paperback available as of May 31, 2016, published by KaBOOM!, an imprint of Boom! Studios. You can find this title at Amazon here.

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Filed under Boom! Studios, Cartoon Network, Comics, Millennials, Regular Show

Review: ADVENTURE TIME: ICE KING #5 (of 6)

Adventure Time Ice King

Anyone who enjoys viewing Adventure Time on Cartoon Network would never have to ask if they would also enjoy reading an Adventure Time comic book, published by Boom! Studios. The answer is a resounding, YES! For those of my friends out there unfamiliar with Adventure Time, it is an animated show with a unique point of view, much like The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was in its day. It’s cerebral goofy. A story about a boy, Finn, and his dog, Jake, and their adventures in a post-Apocalyptic world. And one of the recurring characters is the not-so-nice Ice King.

I mention the readiness of a fan of the show to read the comic because it is very true. What Boom! Studios has managed to sustain is that quirk factor. This is why cartoonists coming from an alternative comics background, or at least in tune with it in some way, are ideal for this type of work. Just consider the Tumblr sites for this book’s talent: story by Emily Partridge; script by Pranas Naujokaitis; and art by Natalie Andrewson.

Then you have the deceptively simple premise for the comic book: “Ice King and his cool wizard pals make it to Marble’s lair and a battle ensues.” You let your talent follow their muse. Next thing you know, the content has organically made the transition from one medium (fabulous animated show) to a whole other medium (fabulous comic book).

In this issue, we are immediately swept up by some dramatic action from the previous issue. Looks like Fionna (the gender-swapped version of Finn) has met her match with The Dark Magister Templi Marble. That’s one page, hinting already that this comic goes deeper than one might think! And then we follow Ice King as he’s repeatedly duped into being a human land mine detector. Ouch! Ice King allows this to happen to him because he has zero self-confidence and he’s so desperately lonely. But if he wants friends, wouldn’t he need self-respect to begin with? Well, we can see that but not Ice King.

Ice King Boom Studios

The zany humor is often just two characters arguing at the top of their lungs. But it follows a logic, part of the bigger story being told, of course. The loopy-fresh drawing is right in sync with the back and forth surreal dialogue. And the hand-drawn lettering is as kinetic as the drawing and writing. One one level, it all refers back to the work of what we might think (for those of us who think in these terms) of the traditional self-published independent cartoonist.

On another level, it is a matter of just being savvy to the zeitgeist. Think of, say, Eleanor Davis, Julia Gfrörer, or Meghan Turbitt. What matters most is that the creative team here taps into that indie ethos. Anyway, I always get a kick when I read an Adventure Time comic. I’m sure they are a lot of fun to write and draw too. Nice to check in on Finn and Jake and company from time to time.

ADVENTURE TIME: ICE KING #5 (of 6) is available as of May 18th, published by KaBoom!, the all-ages imprint of Boom! Studios.

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Filed under Adventure Time, Boom! Studios, Cartoon Network, Comics

Review: OVER THE GARDEN WALL #1

OvertheGardenWall-Boom-Studios

“Over the Garden Wall,” is a new comics series from Boom! Studios imprint, KaBOOM! But it already has established a history over at Cartoon Network as a crazy popular show. It has the distinction of being Cartoon Network’s first-ever original animated miniseries. That said, this issue assumes some prior knowledge of the goings-on but it’s also totally newbie-friendly. The gist of it is that this is all set in a fantasy-type world. The characters are always on the lookout for the Beast and the land of the Unknown is not a good place to be. Alright, that’s plenty to work with already!

Well, let’s just to be clear and give credit where credit is due. The whole shebang originates with “Tome of the Unknown” a fantastic animated short by Pat McHale ((Adventure Time, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack). That’s what led to the ongoing animated series on Cartoon Network. Things just rolled from there. For instance, check out Pat’s limited series comic.

OvertheGardenWall-Jim Campbell

Okay, getting back to this new ongoing series, what grabbed me right away was the zippy quality to the panel-to-panel reading experience. There is an uncanny timing to things like when you have a frog belch, “Rorop!” That’s because the original team from the new ongoing animated series is working on this comic. Jim Campbell returns to join forces with fellow show writer Amalia Levari. Along with that talent, there is also writer Danielle Burgos; and, art-wise, you have Jim Campbell and Cara McGee. Well, it all adds up to some magical storytelling. No prior knowledge, indeed! All you need to do is observe, with a certain amount of glee, little boy Greg as he returns to Dreamland traipsing about, all Little Nemo-style.

Midway through, we make an abrupt switch in setting after Greg has had his adventure. We go back in the backstory to the land of the Unknown and follow the struggles of young Anna, the daughter of the Woodsman, as she must learn to survive in the woods on her own. Greg’s story, followed by Anna’s story, all makes for a nice mix of light and dark. This is a very engaging comic that will be worthwhile for any age.

Also included is a preview of a new Adventure Time title simply going by the name, “Adventure Time Comics.” This is a special opportunity to spread one’s wings and mix things up with brand-new “off-model” stories, as they say in the comics biz. That accounts for the story here involving the Pastry Princess and the Queen of Breakfast. These are most definitely not your regular characters from Adventure Time. I guess whenever I see some such character, like say, The Hamburger Prince, I should yell out, “Off-model!” Either that or I should make my way to my nearest fast food drive thru. Well, getting back to the story at hand, it is very cute and funny. Turns out that pastries are indeed a part of breakfast. Wonderful art and story by Katie Cook! You can expect to find the first issue of “Adventure Time Comics” to arrive this July.

“Over the Garden Wall #1” is available as of April 27th. For more details, visit Boom! Studios right here.

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Filed under Adventure Time, animation, Boom! Studios, Cartoon Network, comic books, Comics, Comics Reviews

Review: JONESY #1 (of 4)

Boom Studios Jonesy.jpg

High school is a pretty crazy time: either you don’t fit in or, even if you do, you always wonder if you could fit in better. Lots of confusion. It’s a wonder that anything ever gets done with all these emotional fluctuations and raging hormones. Enter a pint-sized Hispanic girl named, Jonesy. She could have had it all, friends, admirers, lovers, but she chose to be weird. Not really an intentional thing on her part. But, as you can see in the first issue of this limited series comic book, Jonesy is a girl on a flight path all her own.

JONESY is brought to you by Boom! Studios and brings together the comic talents of writer Sam Humphries and artist Caitlin Rose Boyle with colors by Mickey Quinn and letters by Corey Breen. This comic will appeal not only to fans of Bryan Lee O’Malley, what with his outspoken characters in poppy shenanigans, but also to that broader demographic: anyone who survived high school. Jonesy has found a way to not only survive but to thrive: she has magic powers! Well, some might say that’s a cop out to have a kid on the margins rely upon her super powers. And that’s okay. Her super powers aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

As you’ll find out in this hilarious first issue, Jonesy appears to have the power to make people fall in love. What will she do with such power? It seems like she should be able to rule the school as she parades around with whoever she casts under her spell. Not so easy. Much like everything else in high school, Jonesy’s control of her powers is awkward and emerging, at best. This first issue offers up an original and lively comic that will be fun to keep up with. I think Jonesy has won me over and she didn’t have to cast a spell on me either.

JONESY is available now. For more details, visit our friends at Boom! Studios right here.

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Filed under Boom! Studios, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Comics, Comics Reviews, Sam Humphries

Review: WELCOME BACK #1 (of 4)

Welcome-Back-Christopher-Sebela.jpg

WELCOME BACK, published by Boom! Studios, is a sly philosophical action-packed comic. It is part sci-fi, part horror, and part youth against the world. Mali is an intriguing main character. She’s 26 years-old and doesn’t have her act together yet, although she has plenty of solid reasons for that. Being the step-daughter of an infamous serial killer will do that.

In the course of this first issue, we come to see that, in fact, Mali is right on track to meet her true destiny. Christopher Sebela’s script is a perfect story of a most unlikely heroine. And Jonathan Brandon Sawyer’s artwork is very fluid while also well-balanced. All the figures move about in a well-defined space. We believe in Mali right out of the gate.

Welcome-Back-Boom-Studios.jpg

There’s a nice easy-going quality to this story which happens to also be pretty dark. Chalk it up to a hip depiction of the resilience of youth. Mali will need to be ready and able to bounce back from anything once she’s gotten a clue as to what is up ahead for her. As it turns out, she is a warrior who has lived countless other lives. Who knew? Not, Mali, not right away. But all the clues have been adding up. Meanwhile, there’s Mali’s perennial rival, Tess.

What I like most about this comic is that it is fearless. It has quite a lot going on. It’s one of those what I’d call an “umbrella comic,” one that can manage to hold anything under its title. Lookit, Mali and Tess have been battling it out since the dawn of battles. As Mali says herself, “there’s no winning. The victor takes themselves out, following the target into the next life.” Now, that’s a bold and fearless premise. This comic is up to the task.

WELCOME BACK #1 is a four-part series and is available as of August 19. For more details, visit our friends at Boom! Studios right here.

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Review: THE REALIST by Asaf Hanuka

Hanuka-The-Realist

For the last four years, Asaf Hanuka has been doing auto-biographical webcomics about his life in Tel Aviv, Israel, entitled, “The Realist.” In many ways, this is a pretty straightforward narrative but, as in any life, things can gain, at any moment, a razor-sharp specificity and intensity. This is, after all, one of the most watched war-torn areas in the world.

So, when a morning can simply consist of a father goading his little boy to eat his toast, that already carries potentially more weight than a similar moment somewhere else. That said, Hanuka seems to carry himself like a man on a mission wherever he might live. The Realist has now been collected for the first time in English as a graphic novel, published by Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios.

The-Realist-Hanuka

Comparable to the work of R. Crumb and Daniel Clowes, Hanuka has a keen sense for depictions of everyday life. What really matters is that he’s FUNNY!

I actually laughed out loud from reading his comics. He wears his version of the average Joe quite well. There’s one strip where we follow Hanuka throughout his day, as if following the daily routine of a computer from start up to sleep mode. At each point of the day, he has options to choose: engage or ignore the bus driver, the neighbor, the co-worker, his son, his wife. End. Repeat the next day. It strikes close to home, and it’s hilarious.

They say that if if you try to call attention to your merits, people will gladly ignore you. However, if you revel in self-deprecation, suddenly you have a following. Well, Hanuka definitely has a following. But it’s more than having readers relate to your problems. Hanuka has an engaging style with his artwork. It’s a crisp rendering of his life that you can’t help but want to know more about.

“The Realist” is an original 192-page hardcover graphic novel, priced at $24.99, arriving in comic shops from Archaia on April 22nd with a cover by creator Asaf Hanuka. For more details, visit our friends at Boom! Studios right here.

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Filed under Archaia Entertainment, Asaf Hanuka, Boom! Studios, Comics, Family, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Israel, Middle East, War, Webcomics