Ahoy Comics 2019
Written by Paul Constant
Illustrated by Alan Robinson
Coloured by Felipe Sobreiro
Lettered by Rob Steen
Feeling like misfits in 2019, the thawed-out jocks from the '80s hatch a plan for revenge on the rich and powerful nerd who froze them. PLUS! As the 21st century dawns, Jenny considers moving to the big city to write for one of those new-fangled "blogs." Will her mom approve? EXTRA! AHOY's familiar assortment of text and illustrations.
The concept behind this book is solid, intriguing and incredibly humorous as Chad shows all his true colours here. He's the one that takes the other two and gets them into trouble with his mouth and his actions, my mother would've said he's a bad influence. Regardless as Drew and Steve try to cope with him, his actions and the fact that all Drew's heroes, OJ and Bill Cosby, have so disastrously fallen from grace doesn't help the situation.
One of the things that Paul is doing with this story so far is that he's portraying them as actual teenagers who have no clue as to what they are doing. They aren't nerds, they aren't all that smart and with Chad around it's hard to come up with a solid plan to figure out what their next move should be. Oh and the boys walking in on Jenny who wasn't expecting them for a while yeah that's classic but it does lead to one of the best coming out scenes we've seen outside the movies, all gay men are named Mark, Rick or Steve but still it's a total Love Simon kind of thing and it's nicely done. Overall they are like fish out of water and their only lure is the one put them in this position.
The way that Paul has this structured and how he utilises the pacing to take the story & plot development and character development weaves them together and separately so they are constantly moving forward showcases his skill and talent as a writer. Also I very much like how we see the boys interacting with the technology of their future, our present. Computers, tablets and phones, oh my. The boys are like bulls in a china shop for sure but they are grasping all that is happening here in bits and pieces so that is a nice way of catching them up to speed.
Alan's work on the interiors here is interesting to me. There is almost a caricature element to the work at times that takes the exaggerated faces, Chad with his Jughead nose and that protruding chin for example, that actually work well when it's done. The linework is solid and the way he is composing the panels with or without backgrounds—yes Paul utilise more of them please—how we see the setup in each one and how the attention detail in them is prominent shows a stupendous eye for storytelling. Ah poor Steve not even a happy trail? I know he's like around 17 but even then I was getting chest hair and so my legs, pits and trail were well noticeable. I love the colour work here as well and seeing the letterman jackets in their shades of purple and yellow are fantastic and how they change hues depending on the lighting is impressive. The utilisation of the light sources to create shading and shadows is well done. The colour blocking and it's placement look amazing, those bricks yeah they almost look like gradation thanks to how it is applied. Totally impressive package here.
So Jenny is both saviour and frustrated with the boys already. That they don't understand what she's been through is the frustrating part and to see her take that out on Steve wasn't the least bit fair but hey everyone has a breaking point. The real life aspect of the characters is another thing about this book that draws me in. it is nice to see that this level of storytelling isn't just wham bam here they are being amazing and super skilled & smart no it's about what a normal teenager would do.
This has the potential to be one of the best franchises around and I hope that we continue to get arcs for as long as these fine folks have stories to tell.