Monday, September 21, 2015

Comic Review: Over the Garden Wall #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications. 
I had trouble at first figuring out exactly what I thought about Over the Garden Wall #1, based off the Cartoon Network miniseries. A lot of that comes down to it looking like a kids' comic, which has a lot of negative connotations in the industry now. That term isn't meant as a negative here, since it doesn't have the unintelligent sense of humor that you might suspect out of a kids' comic, but instead is just in a style that appeals to kids, without sacrificing any wit or intelligence in the humor. 

The story starts going at full speed, no need to explain what's going on: Wirt and his (half-)brother Greg are going down a path and trying to get a carriage to help them when he accidentally falls into a flower bed. The girls in the yard next to the flower bed threaten to tell their Papa, so Wirt is coerced into doing their chores so they won't tell on him. As Wirt keeps misunderstanding the chores, things escalate and keep getting more ridiculous.

That description probably leads your mind in a specific direction for where it's going, and you're only partially right. Everything escalates in a strange direction, and the humor is a lot smarter than what you would expect out of a "kids' comic." A lot of this comes from the bluebird sidekick, the once-human Beatrice. She comes off like a sarcastic reader, pointing out how ridiculous everything is in the story, but from the perspective of someone in the story, which turns out to be a lot of fun.

I'd call the look and feel of the book it "cartoony," even though that vague term can have negative connotations. It sums up the book well. The art is very bright and colorful, with creative designs for the characters; from the little girls who seem to have no faces under their bonnets, to their Papa who is a house, the designs stick out as very creative, especially in the comic feeling no need to justify or explain why they are this way.

Together, all of this makes quite a fun book to read. I'm definitely interested in picking up the next issue of it, since I'm really intrigued at what they could be doing with it next.

If you'd like to see more, find this article and others like it at Word of the Nerd, and many thanks to them for allowing cross-posting.

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