I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
So, I had a little binge.
Well, I blame my brother really, who was the one who went on the binge. He requested all these Adventure Time comics from the magic of Inter-library loan and then we read them together (well some of them anyway) like we used to consume Calvin and Hobbes.
I think I may have mentioned this before, but here it goes again. One thing that is really awesome about Adventure Time is the artists and writers. So many different and amazing artists and writers contribute to these comics, adding their ideas and styles to the pages and keeping the series fresh with new ideas.
I'm not sure how these artists/writers are chosen, but however it's done it's done well. Ward's series keeps the same awesome dynamics, the same best friend tone overall, the same crazy hijinks and random hilarious twists and turns.
First I read Adventure Time Vol.4 Original Graphic Novel - Kate Leth,Zachary Sterling, Bitter Sweets, starring Princess Bubblegum and Peppermint Butler as they journey around to different kingdoms to re-charge the gems that keep Candy Kingdom all magical. Each kingdom she visits surprises her. First it's that the kingdoms, once rundown are suddenly much nicer and then the final kingdom which was the most powerful, is suddenly in ruins.
It was nice to have a comic focus just on PB, but unfortunately for her she was totally upstaged by the other PB, Peppermint Butler. AT comics generally tread the line between lessons (you know, sharing, trusting, asking for help etc.) and being a little bit naughty. This one was a little too much on the lessons side of that line for me. Bubblegum lacked that certain disregard for Ooo life in the face of science in this one for me.
Next, an adventure with Marceline the Vampire Queen. Adventure Time: Seeing Red - Kate Leth,Zack Sterling. These original graphic novels, like Bitter Sweets, explore characters beyond Finn and Jake, but it's nice to see them team up with others too.
Jake the Dog and Marceline team up in this adventure, when Marceline has to attend her family reunion, but someone has stolen her axe. The two follow a trail that leads them all over the Nightosphere and other places looking for the thief. Eventually they discover the truth and return to show Aberdeen exactly what they think of him. Things are said and hugs are given all around.
I liked this one a lot more than Bitter Sweets, it still had that sweet moment between Aberdeen and Marceline, but it had more balance to it. Although Marceline was obviously the focus of this story, Jake also had his moments (that bellboy guy!).
I returned to Peppermint Butler in Candy Capers Adventure Time: Candy Capers #3. (I read the full volume version, not just #3).
Finn and Jake are missing! And they've got PB's Hammer! It's up to Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun to crack the case.
As the new defender of the Candy Kingdom Peppermint Butler has to rescue Finn and Jake from whatever peril they face and keep the rest of Ooo from falling to pieces at the same time. A series of back-up heros are called, but few work out quite to Pepp But's expectations.
I highly recommend this comic, we get to journey all over Ooo and witness some truly hilarious team-ups. Imagine what would happen if Finn and Jake were replaced by LSP and Lemongrab? Also, we get to know Cinnamon Bun a lot more. Maybe too much.
Next, Warp to an Alternate Dimension!
Fionna and Cake must save the Flame Prince from the evil designs of Ice Queen, who is really just very troubled. It was an interesting twist, revealing a bit about the author (Ice King). The ending is just about the best part. Ice King is pretty much my favorite. Although I still don't see why Fionna has to wear a skirt. I just don't like that, never will.
Trying not to make this too long...
The Flip Side is an epic adventure returning to our two heroes Finn and Jake! Yay! In this adventure Finn is suffering from a terrible deficiency - lack of Quests! The trio (Finn, Jake and BMO) end up at the Quest Board, but seeing a distinct lack of cool quests they check the reverse side and find one lonely quest - to save Puzzle Princess from the dastardly Monkey Wizard (who reminded me a ton of the mythical Monkey King from American Born Chinese - which is a great graphic novel if you haven't read it).
Unfortunately taking quests from the reverse side of the board means that everything in the quest is reversed! And that things will probably reverse until the quest is done. Things descend quickly into chaos as Ooo's citizens find themselves facing reverses everywhere.
A classic AT comic.
Finally I read a comic focusing on the relationship between Marceline and Bubblegum. PB is always a little jealous of Marceline's hipness and when she is forced to hold a concert for the Scream Queens, Marceline's band, at first she's not interested in the un-scientific rock music.
However, once she is part of the magic that is listening to live music, she decides to support Marceline's band by becoming their manager. Life on the road gets a little weird though as Marceline struggles with her public image and PB flirts with the mysterious Guy.
Meanwhile, Jake the Dog has been made interim King of the Candy Kingdom. Which I'm sure seemed like a good idea at the time.
All six of these graphic novels stand alone, you don't need any knowledge of Ooo or AT to enjoy the characters and stories (though I'd recommend at least a passing familiarity to fully enjoy them). The art from the first to the last was spot on, fun and colorful. The characters have very expressive faces as well, which I really enjoy.
So, that's my huge Adventure Time Update. I guess you could call me a super fan now.
Check out some of these comics also by some of the contributing artists/writers: