Mad Cave Studios 2021
On Sale Feb. 03 2021
Written by Liezl Buenaventura
Illustrated by Xavier Tarrega
Coloured by DJ Chavis
Lettered by Joamette Gil
Tommy Murphy is just an ordinary kid. He goes to school, hangs out with his friends, and fanboys over his favorite TV show. But when a chance encounter in the woods thrusts him into an unlikely friendship with an otherworldly creature, he is forced to navigate bullies, family squabbles, and tween woes... all while trying to prevent an interplanetary war!
This is a part of what I do that I absolutely love. Being asked to do an advance review of a book that will be out before you know it. Better still when it comes form a company whose work you really enjoy. So this is an all-ages offering and it has all the elements to it that make this feel like it is a premiere book for the next year. Or This year as of a couple of hours from now. There are a few things about this that already set it apart from the crowd and they are little moments that you will have to read to understand because I am not about to get into them and give anything away. Suffice it to say however, that they will make you smile, laugh and believe that anything, anything at all is possible.
I love the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. There are many times that we all vividly remember the trials and tribulations of being in high school and even more so if you weren’t one of the popular kids then oh yes then it was more hellish indeed. So to see this captured in a way that is utterly relatable to and you can empathise with any of the characters is sensational. The character development that we see is fantastic! How we see the characters act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter really help to flesh them out beautifully. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way we are treated to a really delightful introduction to the kids and the world that they live in.
I am completely enamoured with the interiors here. The linework that we see has this nie strength to it and the way we see the detail work shining through is extremely nice to see. We get some really nice utilisation of backgrounds throughout the book as well which is more than a delightful surprise as they really do enhance the moments as well as well bring us depth perception, a sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkable eye for storytelling. The colour work is gorgeous as well. I really like how we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work.
I find myself growing more and more drawn to the all-ages titles that are coming out. I had never appreciated them when I was growing up which is a shame considering how much fun they are. This is the kind of stuff that kids dream about being able to do and adults remember wanting to be like as a kid. So all in all it is something for everyone to relate to whether they think that they can or not. This is some superb storytelling that highlights the magic and wonder comics can bring.