The Unbelievable Gwenpool

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Cover (2016)

I have been hearing about this series called Gwenpool for a while now. My fiancé said he loved it, but I just never got around to picking it up. Finally, I got my hands on the first trade paperback. I am not disappointed.

The series kicks off with Black Cat getting angry with Howard the Duck over something that was stolen from her. Then insanity ensues with Gwen Poole (Gwenpool) and Howard the Duck taking on Hydra agents. I’m not going to explain further because it’s hilarious. After the #0 issue, there is a Christmas Special, and then the story really kicks off with The Unbelievable Gwenpool with issue #1.

Gwen Poole is a girl like us. A girl who loves to read comics. Until one day she wakes up in the world of comics that she has read about. While she is mostly a normal person attempting to act like a superhero, she claims her main superpower is knowing everyone’s secret identities and therefore their weaknesses. She talks to the audience on a regular basis, keeping in line with Deadpool’s knack for breaking the fourth wall. This parody comic is crazier than Squirrel Girl, but just as clever and has a similar vibe. I do enjoy the fact that she does not seem to think there will be any consequences for her actions, even killing, because characters will just “disappear” for a few issues then return. This leads to a lack of responsibility and concern for herself or others. However, Gwen does mourn when MODOK kills her new sidekick, Cecil, and for the first time realizes she may not be the hero of her own story, but rather a henchman. In turn, this leads to further, darker, plot development.

The art by the Japanese art team, Gurihiru, is amazing. It is light, colorful, and adorable. They are able to capture the lightheartedness of the story and Gwen herself. I also love the full pink eyes of her costume, not to mention the pink on the rest of the outfit. I am a sucker for that shade of pink. However, issue #0 is illustrated by Danilo Beyruth. While he is a good artist, I have no complaints about ability, he simply did not capture that playful personality of Gwen Poole. She seemed much older and darker than Gurihiru’s version. Chris Hastings, the author, does an excellent job of subtly adding dark undertones, as is common with “pool” (read: Deadpool) characters, yet also maintaining a light and fun story of a girl trying to discover herself in this new universe.

Trade paperback #1 was great. Now I need to search for the second volume!

 

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Toyetica

Cover of Toyetica

Cover of Issue 1

Hi everyone! Sorry for the summer break. This summer I’ve been diligently working on wedding planning with my fiancé. Anyway, I read this new comic that came out at my local comic shop this week (August 9, 2017) that I just had to share! I hope you enjoy.

Toyetica

In this brand new comic book, written and drawn by Bizenghast author, Marty Legrow (M. Alice Legrow), comes a story of Bittles. Bittles are tiny people who have existed among humans since the dawn of time. Humans captured Bittles and kept them as their toys or servants. Over time, the humans began to realize the error of their ways and Bittles were replaced by stuffed dolls. In an attempt to make amends, the humans and Bittles worked together to live harmoniously. From then on, every toy doll or action figure needed to be based on the image of an actual Bittle. Bittles can now attend a school to become famous models for new toys. They learn how to build plastic toys and create their own unique brand. The school is where the story kicks off.

I am instantly pulled into this comic book from page one. The art and coloring is superb and the overarching plot is intriguing. The first issue is a bit drawn out with all of the character introductions. Legrow introduces 14 characters. While it may have been nice to become familiar with them over a few issues, I do like her method of introducing the characters—by having the lead protagonist, Trixie Tangle, write a letter to the new girl, Minky Mermille, explaining all of the classmates. It keeps it simple not only for the new character, but also for the audience. The letter also becomes a way to cause some conflict between Trixie and Minky. I have a feeling they’re going to become friends as the story continues though. I am definitely interested enough to continue collecting the series.

Toyetica is published by the independent publisher, Action Lab. This publisher has been around for 5 years and is best known for their work, Princeless. If you’re looking for a new series from an independent publisher, this is a good way to go. It’s also for all ages and, from what I’ve seen so far, both parents and kids will enjoy the story.

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