Featured Columns

May 8, 2015

FFGtGR: Punky Brewster!

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.186

Howdy ya’ll, and welcome back to our bi-weekly all-ages comics column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week we take a look at another title from Lion Forge’s all-ages line, Roar Comics. Last time we checked out their collected edition of Saved By The Bell, this week we will look at their collected edition of Punky Brewster that is hitting shops. Let’s get down to it!


punkybrewstercoverPunky Brewster
Publisher: Lion Forge
Story: Joelle Sellner
Art: Lesley Vamos

There are a ton of things I like but sometimes forget about until they surface in my face again. French synth-pop like Elli et Jacno. Video games like Super Breakout. For comics, this week it was, of all things to my surprising delight, Punky Brewster. Punky Brewster has a nostalgia delight button that gets pressed with millennials, and specifically the animated incarnation that ran on NBC and featured a magical character named Glomer hits a home run with comic book fans who grew up in the twilight of yesteryear. Although the Lion Forge update follows the original live action sitcom folks love, and not the cult favorite animated series, it still produces an incredibly solid addition to their robust selection of pop culture-update titles.

As the description says:

The beloved TV series returns in this heartwarming, lushly illustrated story of a brand-new family made from persistence, pluck, and Punky Power! Punky Brewster, a bright eight-year-old girl, has been abandoned and is getting by on the streets of Chicago. Punky thinks she doesn’t need help – except from her puppy sidekick, Brandon – but after getting picked up by the police she enters a foster home and starts to search for a family. Punky meets Henry, a long-lost relative, and decides he’s the adoptive dad for her. All she has to do is convince the foster home, adoption judges and lawyers, and possibly Henry, himself! Luckily, she’s got an unbeatable resource – her limitless reserve of Punky Power!”

On the writing side from Sellner is a super solid story that retells the origin set in modern times, yet remains faithful to the spirit and pacing of the original sitcom. Unlike Lion Forge’s update of Saved By The Bell, where the structure was very much that of Archie titles, Punky Brewster goes for a serialized structure, hitting all the right comedic notes, as well as a few dramatic, giving it a needed punch to have a meaningful story that has resonance with readers.

The art from Vamos is just wonderful. The character designs resemble that of Belgian-Franco comics, although the art and detail is a bit simpler than those Euro-titles. It has a real charm to the eye, as the pacing of the chosen layout races across the page, enhancing the written material.

It was everything the Annie remake this year should have been and failed to be. Funny, well written, and visually charming. The writing is a reboot, so anyone of any age can jump in, yet it is still executed well enough for old school fans to jump in and fall in love with.

Punky Brewster will be out soon in a printed collected edition, and is already available in individual digital issues.


Drew McCabe



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