From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No. 134
Hello and welcome back readers to another week with us here at our all-ages column From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! As you’re reading this, I’m kicking it back in Aruba this week on the beach, getting some sun, catching up on Hunter X Hunter streaming on my iPad, as well as a few titles such as classic Euro-gem Asterix (physical book, not available digitally, nor would one want it to with how much they cram onto one page) and DCs Demon Knights (didn’t read it when it first came out, but recently jumped onto the band wagon for this title). That said, since I’m in an Aruba state of mind, I decided this week instead of focusing on new titles that were just released, I would focus on some that haven’t even hit print yet.
Like any industry, the comic one has ups and downs and trends galore. When I first started writing From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, all-ages titles looked like they were going to have an upswing again, which is good for the industry to keep growing new readers from a young age and not just curious readers who see a TV or film version of a comic (although, yes, a big part of all-ages titles do tie into animated TV cartoons). We were right that it was growing, and in fact From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays had to go from a bi-monthly column to a weekly column to be steady enough to cover as much as possible! I am a huge defender of seeing more and more all-ages titles, and be it selling them packaged in collections at school book fairs or getting them into super market racks again, the more comics for kids the better for all of us, I feel.
So let’s look at Kickstarter. Things like Sullivan’s Sluggers have made huge waves by using it, but that is just one of a ton of comics out there. Brought to my attention were these great comics from Grey Soul Studio, Rowen and the Rascal Lion and Bathtub Western! Both of these titles, done by the team of Jason Forest and Bruce Seaton, are these really hip all-ages titles, which are interesting hybrids of comic book and children’s book in one!
The art on both titles is just great, really nice work here. Page-by-page it flows well, using sequential comic art to tell the story, but with more narration bubbles than text bubbles, to give us more insight, kind of like the old Prince Valiant or Little Nemo strips (although there still are some text bubbles). Rowen and the Rascal Lion follows a little boy named Rowen, who while in the garden one day comes face to face with a lion. However, it is the lion who seemingly will have trouble with our little friend and not the other way around. Bathtub Western follows a young boy who is forced to take a bath. If he doesn’t do it and makes a mess, he faces the most dreadful punishment ever: no more dinosaur shaped nuggets! He goes along, but his imagination is larger than life, and this little cowboy goes on an adventure with knights, pirates, talking animals, and more!
Even as I was writing this article up ahead for my deadline, the project was 99% funded, so I’m sure as this goes up it’s hit its 100%, however that doesn’t mean you still can’t get in on it and get copies of these, as well as helping to support the growth of some cool all-ages titles! Click here to go to the Kickstarter page so you can check it out and support them, and click here to go to Grey Soul Studio’s main page to see what they are up to!
That’s it for this week, see you next!