Monday, June 3, 2013

CBR Adventure Time Vol. 1

You what time it is...??

No seriously, I don't have a watch.

You know what time is it? It's ADVENTURE TIME!!

Comic title: Adventure Time: Volume One
Art by Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb & Mike Holmes
Written by Ryan North 

Published by Boom! Studios inprint KaBOOM!
From 2012
Lineup Adventure Time series
Format: Trade Paperback collecting Adventure Time #1-4 and the Adventure Time: Free Comic Book Day Edition story.

Fresh off the huge impressive success the series had since its launch back in 2010, Adventure Time has been adapted into several other mediums from iOS games, clothing, merchandising goodies and other whatnot these last couple of years.

Amongst all those, the series' been turned into a fairly successful comic book series as well.

But instead of using Time Warner's owned-subsidiary comic book arm, DC Comics, such as past Cartoon Network shows, the Adventure Time comics has found its home at Boom Studio's kids line.

Since Pen Ward retained pretty much control over his creation, he was able to keep using independent and smaller companies to work with like he tends to do whenever venturing outside TV.

Announced in 2011, Adventure Time was adapted by KaBOOM! Studios. Finally released on February 2012.

With being it, Dinosaur Comics webcomic creator Ryan North.

It was promised to feature on-going adventures to complement the series rather than silly fillers or retelling of previous episodes.

The comics follows our heroes Finn the Human and Jake the Dog in their everyday "saving the world" biz.

The Lich is back! Now free from his past imprisonment and ready to leave a path of destruction all over through The Land of Ooo!

Now armed with a magic bag, the Lich starts sucking up the entire world. Literally!

Finn and Jake end up trapped in the bag. Where they meet up the newly created Desert Princess (not Dessert Princess!) and the Ice King.

Later on Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum and Lumpy Space Princess also pop up in the bag.

But slowly the entire planet appears to be sucked down the bag!

What will our heroes do to stop the villain once and for all!?!

The first volume collects the first 4 issues - more or less.

It also includes the Adventure Time Free Comic Book Day story by Mike Holmes, mixed in between the on-going storyline. It kinda works, even though it breaks the rhythm a bit, but it's a really unusual way to do so!

First of all, Ryan North really suits the tone of Adventure Time. He perfectly get the characters voice. And the story feels like a big epic episode.

It's such a simple story! A dangerous villain trying to destroy the world, trapped our heroes into his magic bag. They try to strike back and after a long trial and error process finally come up with a plan to save the day.

The book appears huge at first, about 128 pages long, but the comic is actually only 70 or so pages. Then the rest is all but bonus material. Behind the scenes pictures and the biggest cover gallery you'll ever get to see.

The Adventure Time comic got a million of variant covers to promote the book. It's both a good and a bad thing.

You get to see many great popular indie artists' take on the series.

Originally the comic book issues contained back-up stories from guest writers & artists. But apparently they were not included in this Trade. They said they would be released later on in a different book.... Aww...

The characters really come to life on these pages. The tandem Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb perfectly followed the show's design and tone.

The book is full of little nods and references. There's some hidden coded messages you need a cypher to translate. And similarly to Dinosaur Comics, the book often breaks the fourth wall with messages from the author at the bottom of the pages and side-jokes between characters. Breaking the situation to comment and mock dialogues.

It's a very unique experience!

Overall, already an all-ages classic. And for a good reason!

The comic book series does a great job recapturing this recent Cartoon Network hit. I wish old Toons would have gotten a similar good treatment back in the day...

The great success of this series helped launch several spin-off series and mini-series such as Marceline and the Scream Queens and a Fionna & Cake book by character designer Natasha Allegri.

But that will be for another time...

It's a very impressive comic, with great illustration, bright & colorful. The perfect cartoon-to-comic translation.

It has a great appeal to both kids and adults alike, like only The Simpsons comics probably attained in the past.

It's a perfect introduction for newcomers and long time fans.

A particularly great book, highly recommended.

And I'm not giving it the perfect score of 3/3 simply because it's just missing the back-up features, promised for another book some later time.

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Snoopies!

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