Welcome to Showside #4 continues to be both hilarious and suspenseful as Ian McGinty and Samantha Knapp make fun of Tinder and the emotional power of Gerard Way’s old band on tiny blue creatures while giving Kit and his friends a villain that is both powerful, entertaining, and certainly not monosyllabic in Frank. (Be sure to read his parts in your best Henry Rollins voice.)
With a plot steeped deep in Adventure Time lore, Adventure Time #50 wasn’t for me, but more knowledgeable fans may get a kick out of it. The comic is technically sound though with creative lettering from Steve Wands to show how overblown and melodramatic the Lich is, bright and spooky colors from Maarta Laiho, and fun, expressive art from Ian McGinty. If you like a certain type of pet or hero cycles, the last few pages will be a treat.
Welcome to Showside #2 is another fun installment in writer/artist Ian McGinty’s bouncy, anything goes all ages urban fantasy saga. In this issue, readers get to meet Belle’s little brother Toulouse, who is a bit of a nerd and scared of their father Mr. Stone, an eyepatch wearing demon hunter, who hates monsters (even adorable ones like Kit and Boo) and lives in a castle above Showside. The comic starts as a fun beach excursion complete with rad banter, a food truck excursion, and standing up to an annoying bully, who looks like the steroid fueled offspring before turning into another magical monster brawl. And between the eating and fighting, McGinty continues to develop the world of Showside, including the tension between humans and monsters as well as introduce the silliest (and sadly most powerful politically) character to date, Mayor Mayer.
Welcome to Showside #1 is a partially light, partially dark introduction to the fantastic world of Showside as writer/artist Ian McGinty shows Kit and his close knit group of friends at play and at action in a bright, playful art style that looks like animation with a touch of retro video games. Throw in a funny backup story with art from Carey Pietsch (Marceline Gone Adrift), and Welcome to Showside #1 is a spoopy trick or treat for your eyes and funny bone with relatable characters and fantastic worldbuilding just in time for Halloween.
The power of friendship and redemption is victorious in Bravest Warriors #36, which is the final issue of Kate Leth and Ian McGinty’s excellent run on the series. In their sixteen issues on the title, they went beyond the cartoon’s mythos showing Catbug’s evil brother and father, giving Plum a lovely girlfriend named Peach, and homaging everything from Pacific Rim and Agatha Christie to The Great Gatsby and Lord of the Rings in a clever, silly manner. This final issue is a little low on suspense, but Leth and McGinty more than makes up for it by giving each Bravest Warrior a crowning moment of brilliance or funny, which play out in a character and plot twist.
Ian McGinty is a talented comics artist known for his animation style work on licensed properties, like Bravest Warriors, Munchkin, and Adventure Time Candy Capers featuring the Peppermint Butler. But this fall, he jumps into the driver’s seat as both writer and artist of the upcoming, creator owned Welcome to Showside all ages comics from Z2 Comics.
In Bravest Warriors #35, writer Kate Leth and artist Ian McGinty gear up for the finale of their run by going to Catbug’s home planet? Yes, Catbug’s homeworld just happens to be in the belly of the same space shark as the Bravesst Warriors and their spaceship. Leth and McGinty use this plot development to show a different side of Catbug’s psyche beneath his smiles, adorableness, and sassy side eye. Like a lot of people, he has issues with members of his family that get explored in a humorous, sometimes emotional way. Leth and McGinty use this spotlight on Catbug and his relationship with his relatives/fellow planet dwellers to add a new twist to what could be only the beginning of new information and characterization of this adorable insect/feline hybrid.
Filled with techno-babble, expert or not so expert spaceship maneuvers from artist Ian McGinty, and Catbug non sequitur one-liner gold from writer Kate Leth, Bravest Warriors #34 is sadly the beginning of the final ride for this comic and creative team. Luckily, Leth, McGinty, and colorist Lisa Moore are going out space opera style as the Bravest Warriors travel to Plum and the merwif’s home planet of Mirvahda to save it from the Colossal Matter Shark or the not so sexy love child of Galactus and the space whales from Star Trek: The Voyage Home. Leth’s script is full of moral dilemmas and tension as the Warriors must make some tough choices in their battle against the Shark. But she offsets the space jargon and rising emotions with her usual rapid fire puns, Catbug comic relief, and some incredibly clever pop culture references.
With its send-up of murder mysteries, interactive nature, and pitch perfect writing and drawing of characters like Danny, Catbug, Peach, Plum, and an unnamed newcomer, Bravest Warriors #33 is a highlight in Kate Leth and Ian McGinty’s run on the comic as well as a good jumping on point for Cartoon Hangover neophytes.
Munchkin #5 truly captures the ridiculous, wonderful, and confusing parts of time travel.(Ian McGinty illustrates the confusing part in a single panel time paradox.) It is also has a good combination of over the top and witty humor for fans of all comedic persuasions. It’s a great read for anyone still figuring out what the hell happened in Matt Smith’s last episode of Doctor Who.
Bravest Warriors #32 gets the whole team involve as they battle the extradimensional terror Akrothile, who was unintentionally summoned by the disgruntled summer camper Arthen. There is also the ongoing threat of Bugcat, who is trapped from his home dimension thanks to the valiant efforts of Catbug in an earlier issue. Kate Leth and Ian McGinty balance big action with character moments in this arc concluding issue along with some great comedy from Catbug.
This weekend at East Coast Comicon, I had the pleasure of interviewing artist Ian McGinty aka the guy who draws Catbug for a living. We talked about his work on Bravest Warriors as well as some other projects for BOOM! Studios, like Munchkin and Bill and Ted’s Most Triumphant Return and even a future animation project. McGinty has been drawing Bravest Warriors for almost a year with writer Kate Leth (Edward Scissorhands), and has co-created a couple new characters, including Bugcat (evil Catbug) and Peach, who can build giant robots and has a romantic relationship with the Bravest Warrior Plum.
Are you ready to have the most righteous adventure? In Bill’s and Ted’s Most Triumphant Return # 2, Bill and Ted work with Chuck, their would-be murderer, to improve Chuck’s life by getting him friends and a girlfriend. The comic delivers a fair time with spot on characters depiction, tender and deep character moments, and humorous artwork. However, the comic does not come without its flaws in iplot and characters. If you are willing to endure these imperfections, then Bill and Ted will provide you with a fair and funny time