WE Comics Review: How I Spent My Summer Invasion & Jimmy Brass, 2nd Grade Detective
I hope you got a chance to read my interview last week with WE Comics founders, Jason Enright and Mairghread Scott. If not, you can check it here: http://nerdsinbabeland.com/archives/6990. WE has now officially released their first two comics and I had the pleasure of reading both in their digital and print formats. You can purchase both digital downloads for just $1 each at http://wecomics.com.
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How I Spent My Summer Invasion made me almost do a spit-take several times while I was reading it. While obviously written for a young audience, there are some truly hilarious (and aimed at adults) jokes in this charming new comic written by Patrick Rieger and illustrated by Mark Sean Wilson. This adventure follows Tim and Russ, two typically rambunctious young boys who find themselves in a hotel run by and for aliens. The premise is simple, but the fast pacing, easy humor and sweet characters all make for a highly enjoyable read. There is mystery, suspense, a touch of romance and unexpected and clever humor. The animation style is simple, bright and cartoony and serves the story perfectly. I first read the digital version of the comic (which I thoroughly enjoyed), but if you can, you should definitely pick up the printed version as well. The colors are stunning in print and this will be a fun comic to pass onto a young person and might just inspire a new love of comics.
Jimmy Brass, 2nd Grade Detective has a very different feel to it. While Summer Invasion is all gut and heart, Jimmy Brass is all brains. Written by Jake Dickerman and illustrated by Jason Pruett, this comic takes us through a single case of Jimmy Brass who, as you may have guessed by the title, is a detective navigating his way through elementary school. Jimmy is serious, very adult and much like a young Sherlock Holmes, using observation and logic to find the culprits and bring them to justice. Opal, his kindergarten bodyguard, is an utterly unique character and quite the foil to Jimmy. She is something quite unusual, a female character who craves justice and violence. She protects Jimmy at all times, while finding his constant detective work quite annoying. There are barely any adults present in the story and children play all of the roles in this mystery-thriller, including a pair of monster hunters who reminded me a lot of Mulder and Scully.
The real star of this comic is the artwork. Drawn in stunning black and white, Pruett shows off his tremendous artistic talent and gives the comic a distinct noir feeling. I’m curious as to where this series is leading and I’d love to catch a glimpse of Jimmy’s childlike side in the future. I’d hate to think his entire life is seeking out monsters and teddy bear murderers, although I know that Opal will protect him through all of that.