So regular commenter on the site, Roel Torres, and his drawin’ pal Scott Arnold have just unleashed their first comic book onto the world, Lightning Girl Loves Rocket Boy, an essentially done-in-one graphic novel featuring the romantic travails between two young college students who are also, it just happens, superheroes.
Roel was nice enough to pass along a copy to me, and I quite enjoyed it. I liked how the superheroics were pretty much just in the story for the purposes of how it affected the romance, and not the be-all, end-all of the story with a romantic subplot squeezed in. The dialogue is light and humorous when it needs to be, and services the romantic melodrama without being overly melodramatic and goofy.
Though it took me a page or three to get used to it, Arnold does a good job on the art, handling both the character interaction and the superheroics with his particularly stylized cartooning. All the characters are distinct and consistently portrayed and instantly recognizable, which is a plus considering the emphasis is on what happens to the leads when they’re NOT out in their superhero work uniforms.
The story itself is 50 pages long, but there’s a lot packed into it. There’s no wasted space on the pages, and no wasted time moving the plot along. No decompressed storytelling here. Yes, it’s a “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, does boy get girl back, I ain’t tellin'” plot, only with superheroes, and even with that twist, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the tropes of the genre. Even so, it still moves along at a quick and entertaining clip, and the basic story thread is given enough unique embellishment to go down easy.
If I were to bust the guys’ chops about a thing or two on the comic…having “The Beginning” at the end of the story? Oh, Roel ‘n’ Scott, say it ain’t so. You know the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys would totally rake you over the coals for that. Also, the computer lettering used in the book was…well, not terrible, but just slightly distracting, but I got used to it. And there’s a panel or two in the comic where the characters felt like they weren’t really integrated into their backgrounds, such as when they’re standing on a rooftop but it looks more like they’re hovering over it or pasted into the panel. But that’s just getting nitpicky, and any rough edges the comic may have is the sort of thing experience takes care of. (Plus, I like comics with a rough edge or two…I’d rather read a comic produced by amateur creators just starting out in the field, like this one, than a fifteenth Avengers ongoing.)
But, overall, a good first effort, and I’d like to see more from these fellas. Maybe not more of this specific story, as, even though there’s a “#1” on the cover (and, ahem, “The Beginning”), it feels like we reached a definitive ending with this story and it’d be a shame to undo that. It stands on its own as an enjoyable addition to the relatively-sparse “Superhero Romance” genre.
In other news:
- I received my package of Neil the Horse comics yesterday, and they’re all in good shape, with only the first issue having a crease or two on the covers. Can’t really complain for a 99-cent bid, though I have to admit I’m not thrilled about paying a certain amount for shipping, and then seeing that the actual shipping cost was only about a third of that. But…full run of Neil the Horse, under nine bucks total, stop complaining, Mike.
- Hey, Superman: Secret Origin #6 is coming out today. Finally. Took ’em so long, it’s almost time to revise Superman’s origin again.
- Bully, America’s Greatest Little Stuffed Bull, presents to you Archie Comics Versus Kids’ Fads. It’s a battle Archie only rarely won, if ever. (Ignore the first reader comment, where someone proclaims Archie late to the party for featuring a Wii-type game on a cover. Um, the Wii is still selling, last I heard. DO NOT TEMPT THE BULL’S WRATH, COMMENTER.)