Saturday, March 24, 2012

Adventure Time comic gets lost in translation

I'm a huge Adventure Time fan. It's a fantastic mashup between Where the Wild Things Are, Ren & Stimpy, Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Spongebob Squarepants with a little bit of adult suggestiveness thrown in. How they're getting away with saying things like "nobody's going to sack my nut palace" on what's supposedly a kid's show is beyond me. Which makes it three times as awesome at least.

I saw the comic at the Kaboom! Studios booth at WonderCon and knew I had to review it. My whole family loves the show, including my husband and 15-year old son. The comic, however, didn't work for me.

The faces people make, the body movements, the random things that happen, the little looks people give each other... the comedic timing is a lot of what makes the Adventure Time show work so well, and unfortunately there isn't much of it present in the comic simply because of the format. Comics are a static art form where a story is told in sequential panels without movement, or with implied movement only.

The comic does maintain much of the show's humor, including sight gags and the level of weirdness as far as things like people drinking other peoples' sweat unknowingly and undead snails. There are tiny little text gags in the margins that you have to hunt for and might miss the first time or two, which are awesome. The fact remains, however, that a huge amount of what I love about Adventure Time can only be found in a moving animated version with sound effects and vocal inflections. A static paper comic can't ever do all that.

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