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Follically Challenged Productions Presents:







THE ALL-AGES BOOM!

As an allegedly professional comic book writer, it could be considered a breach of manners for me to review the new Boom! Studios all-ages comic versions of THE INCREDIBLES and THE MUPPET SHOW. There are other reasons why I can’t offer up a formal review of this line in general – reasons that I can’t discuss here – but the end result is the same regardless: I will not be reviewing these books in my column this week.

The problem is THIS, though: I’m so madly in love with these books that I can’t help talking about them.

Take my opinion at face value, folks, but I’m going to climb up on my soapbox for a second and tell you why I think these books are so important. All-ages comics are not a new concept by any stretch, but it’s still a wide-open playing field in regards to getting the books into the hands of the kids and maintaining some kind of regular sales return for your trouble. If the new Boom! all-ages line can maintain the strength found in these opening issues and capitalize on the recently announced newsstand distribution deal, I think we could be looking at a real change in the game.

Let’s start with THE INCREDIBLES, written by a fresh-faced kid named Mark Waid and drawn by the talented Marcio Takara. We’re offered a nice balance of the heroic and domestic in this first issue, with a nice cliffhanger ending to get everyone primed for the next adventure. Waid is telling a bigger story, sure, but he’s playing it smart and keeping the pacing clean and self-contained. This will be essential for young readers to “jump on” in subsequent issues as the line finds its steam. The art has some great continuity with the movie, making this feel official.

If Waid’s book is a gem, then Roger Langridge’s comic version of THE MUPPET SHOW is a crown jewel. I could gush about this book for hours on end; Langridge (who pulls double duty as writer and artist) has captured the essence of the show with unbelievable precision and understanding. There are gags galore, classic elements in place and pacing that feels like it was pulled right off my DVD collection. I am insanely jealous of this book (I want to write Muppets, darn it) but it’s a jealousy of admiration, because Langridge has absolutely nailed it.

Finally, let’s be clear about one point: these may be all-ages titles, but if there’s an adult reader out there who can’t enjoy the books as much as I did, I think that person might need to have their head checked. This is pure entertainment, and I think that we have a responsibility to a whole generation of potential comic readers to make sure that these books make their way into the right hands: everyone’s. 

Brandon Jerwa 

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