Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Adventure Time Vol 1 by Ryan North, art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb

Finn (a human) and best friend Jake (a dog) live in the land of Ooo, along with princess made out of bubblegum and vampire queens.  The Lich, an evil skeleton, has escaped from his magical prison and is now intent on destroying the whole world!  With his magic bag he sucks up Finn, Jake and all their friends.  It's time for an adventure to save the world!

Adorable.  So freaking cute and funny.  I loved it.  I was laughing out loud.  Apparently Adventure Time is an Emmy Award nominated TV show on Cartoon Network.  I had never heard of it, but then I don't have cable so that hardly means anything.  And now it has become a comic book.

Since it's been a TV show for a number of seasons, there were some assumptions made about your knowledge of the Kingdom of Ooo, its surroundings and its inhabitants.  Like it became clear that this was not the first time The Lich had had to be dealt with.  Despite that, I didn't find it difficult to follow the story and pick up the implied backstory.  It was pretty straightforward.

Those who watch the show I'm sure already knew, but I did not realize until the end of the story that Ooo is actually on Earth.  This is a post-apocalyptic world we are living in, and that not all of the world is as bright and as happy as Ooo is.

Jake the dog has the ability to change shape and make himself as big or as small as he likes.  He and Finn are best friends, and they enjoy fist bumping and going on adventures.  They are true friends who always have each other's backs, even when one of them doesn't have the best of ideas.

Princess Bubblegum (who is part human, part bubblegum - yeah, it's a strange, strange, post-apocalyptic world) is also a good friend of Finn and Jake's.  She might like pink and frilly things, but when it comes to planning how to get out of the bag The Lich has trapped them in she's all business.

The art is cartoony (of course), and lacking detail, but the characters all feel so warm.  It is a bright, happy world we see for the most part, until The Lich starts sucking everything up.  Then we see a bit of the darkness there is.

One particular sequence of panels I loved was when the friends have managed to cut a hole in the bag, but every time they fly out to attack The Lich, he just sucks them back up again.  In the foreground of each panel, Finn and Princess Bubblegum talk strategy while in the background you can see the others, in turn jumping into the hole, and then in the next panel falling from the sky as they're sucked back into the desert world in the bag.

This was a great graphic novel for middle grade kids, but it also has that tongue-in-cheek-humor that adults love to find in children's shows.  I had a great time reading it.


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