From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.119
Hello all and welcome back to another fun-filled week of all-age comics coolness with From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! All sorts of things happened this week from presidential elections to hit films, but the only thing that matters to you is the comics, so let’s get down to that!
There are things you hear about on the Japanese side of comics and animation that you never expect to be licensed for release here in the States. Once in awhile, though, one of those mind blowing things gets picked up and released here, and that is the case with this little hardcover of insanity called Street Fighter X Sanrio!
It is EXACTLY how it sounds! As part of the celebrations for the video game Street Fighter’s anniversary this year, Sanrio, creator of manga/anime all-star Hello Kitty and friends, has put their own twist on each Street Fighter character by fusing them with their own. Essentially this is an artbook, but possibly the most amusing artbook from Japan that has been released here to my memory. We get the famous win-screen dialog of your Street Fighter-faves, but fused with the Sanrioverse characters. Hello Kitty as Chun-Li! Keroppi as Blanka! Baditz-Maru as Ryu, and more! My favorite: Purin as Zangief!
This little hardcover looks good filled with its glossy pages of joy. If you are a Hello Kitty fan, of course you want this. If you are a video game fan, you’ll want it because you love Street Fighter, or want it due to sheer oddity of fusing these two franchises! Viz has done a great job releasing this unique gem. Available in print.
I’ll just start off and say this title is gold. I know that is opening myself up to state some sort of love fest for a title as I do unabashedly from time to time in this column, but it’s true here. I’m cynical, reading every issue of Superman Family Adventures since it came out mid-year waiting for Art and Franco to drop the ball. Certainly they couldn’t keep up the pace of writing the best all-age Superman tales since the Silver Age. Certainly they couldn’t continue to wonder the eye by rendering all your fave-Superman characters in their specific art style, doing it well every time. Certainly they couldn’t even bring back a lapsed adult Superman reader, giving him interest in something he hasn’t touched in almost 15 years since middle school. This guy (I’m pointing to myself) was wrong on every count. These two have done all those such things. In a world of perfect all-ages titles, I’m glad we have Superman Family Adventures.
Issue #6 of this title is a hoot. Captain Corben crash lands home and is convinced by Lex Luthor (who has been collecting various kryptonite over the past few issues) to turn on Superman and become Metallo! Metallo attacks, taking on Superman, as Krypto, Superboy, and Supergirl watch helpless. Luckily, Dr. John Henry Irons puts on his suit for the first time and becomes Steel, as the latest addition to the Superman family. We also get some hilarity between Krypto and Fuzzy the Krypto Mouse, and Ma Kent just can’t get a break while cleaning.
Writing: Awesome. Thus far in the series Art and Franco have been able to reintroduce the Superman characters and origins, but in a new way that’s fun, simple, and completely entertaining to read. On the art side of things it has a great design, you know this duo’s work when you see it, being bright, colorful, and just the right amount of eye-catching.
If you are a Superman fan, you can’t go wrong picking this up. If you liked Tiny Titans, Superman Family Adventures is a more straightforward story at times than a gag-mag, but still packs laughs and side gag stories. If your kids don’t know Superman, hand them these books, they are too fun. If you’re an elapsed Superman reader like me, you may just find yourself having so much fun you’ll pick up some Show Collection Presents reprints and some New 52 Superman issues (at least I found myself). Available from DC in digital and print.
For years now from books to TV, Nancy Drew has entertained millions, and starting a few years back Papercutz gave her comic adventures with a ton of great graphic novels. After a healthy run that included everything from high-tension stories to even a vampire hunter, Papecutz has given us a new version of Nancy Drew and her crew in a bit more of a classic looking all-ages light, with Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew.
In the first graphic novel, Nancy and friends Bess and George team up to do their science project together. As they start, it seems everyone is making the usual volcano models, but these three decide to do theirs in a unique fashion, causing them to race against the clock. However, as all the volcanos come in and are stored, something terrible happens: they all go missing! Now Nancy and her Clue Crew go off to do what they do best, and that is solve the mystery.
I was impressed with this first volume. I admit, outside of the old Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew novels during a period of my life in grade school, I never have really followed the character. However, the first volume has set up a great introduction to our crew, as well as a fun mystery. Yes, the problem to solve isn’t as epic as international spies or slaying a vampire, however, I think part of the charm of the story is in its real world base, making it feel more like an Archie story than James Bond. Speaking of Archie, the book is drawn by Stan Goldberg, who spent some time drawing at Archie Comics, and his style instinctively lends itself to that look, paying off here in its all-ages friendly form.
Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew: Small Volcanoes is a great start for this title, and it’ll be great to see where it goes in the future. In print from Papercutz.
That’s it for this week! See you next!