Story and Art by Dan Parent
Longtime fan of Archie that I am, I was intrigued to pick up the first issue of Archie’s newest friend: Kevin Keller. I’ve heard the swirling controversies about a gay character being added to one of the most loved comics ever, but I’m not here to judge the comic on if Kevin is going to “queer up the Archies” (not my words, but words I heard from someone in my comic shop. I live in Texas, what do you expect?) but on if Kevin Keller is fun, witty, and worth picking up every week. As I began the comic, Kevin breaks the fourth wall for the first few pages, letting you see his insecurities, life story, and hopes for the future. He’s just been asked out on a date and is struggling with the normal dating anxieties: what to wear, how to act, etc and each friend has their own set of advice ranging from serious to humorous. Betty and Veronica both tell him to be himself, Archie wisely advises to not schedule two dates at the same time, Reggie takes him for a clothing makeover, and Jughead points him in the direction of the best date spot (Pop’s). Kevin does his best to keep busy throughout the week as his date is on Sunday and as he’s burning through chores, his date arrives Saturday. Poor guy got the date wrong so he rushes to get ready, overhearing his parents discussing their awkward first date with each other and it calms him. The comic ends with Kevin confidently leaving the house, happy that not all bad first dates end a possible relationship.
There’s not much to say about the art here. I think Archie Comics has been a mainstay in the comic world for years and years because it still looks the same. I honestly COULD nitpick and find things that are different from the issues I read as a child but what for? You’ll see the familiar look to the characters and it’s comforting in the very least.
Since this is an “origin” story type of first issue, it was kind of bland BUT I am hoping it picks up so I’ll give this another shot.
Story by Ryan North and Art by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb
If you’ve never sat and caught an episode of Cartoon Network’s wildly popular series….you’re in for a treat. I’m of the thought that each time an episode is written, the writers are either on acid or tapped into a toddler’s dream, tweak it, and animate it for TV. Either way, I’m a big fan of the show so I ran (by ran, I mean went into work) and picked up a copy. It begins with an innocent, adorable snail exploring a plain purple bag on a forest floor when an evil looking creature with horns and a cloak starts sucking up everything, leaving the land barren and desolate. The scene switches to Finn and Jake (just a regular boy and his regular stretchy, magical, talking dog) who are pretend fighting and throwing about “battle burns.” They hear a noise and investigate, donning a pair of anti-mind control headpieces. As they make their way toward the baddie (The Lich), he informs them that he will suck them up too and off the pair go, ending up in a barren alternate dimension wasteland. While they conversate with the inhabitants there, we get a peek at the Ice King, scribbling away at his newest fan fiction where he too is sucked up by The Lich who he recognizes. :O
Of course this is where it “To Be Continued” us and we get a nice little side story about Princess Bubblegum written and illustrated by Aaron Renier. Again, if you’ve seen the show, the art here is nothing different from what you’d see on an episode, short story aside. I love how vivid everything looks and the silly fist bumps between Finn and Jake. Although, for me, the very best parts were the little one-liners at the bottom of each page where no one really ever looks.
Definitely pick this up and get ready for Adventure Time.