Written and Illustrated by Meredith Gran
Colours by Lisa Moore
Back up by Jen Wang
Published by BOOM!
Adventure Time has been one of the most popular series Cartoon Network has produced in years. Created by Pendleton Ward, the series chronicles the adventures of twelve-year-old Finn and his transforming, talking dog; Jake. The spin of itself follows vampire Marceline and her band the Scream Queens as they tour all over the magical land of Ooo.
Apart from being a fan of the show, one of the reasons I picked this up was the involvement of Meredith Gran. I had previously read her ongoing webcomic Octopus Pie and so knowing of her talent I wanted to see what she could do with the Adventure Time cast. Having her write a series focusing on Marceline seemed like a perfect fit, with the character being a young (by vampire standards) woman spending time with her friends while finding herself in close quarters with Princess Bonnibel Bubblegum who is much different from herself. This is very similar to the premise of Octopus Pie and so Gran has a good handle on the story and the conflicting personalities of the protagonists
Marceline and Princess Bubblegum have always been at odds because of their contrary lifestyles, upbringings and personality so it was a smart move to do a story dedicated to them. They are antagonistic to each other, which provides some drama and fun but then having Bonnibell want to tag along with the Scream Queens on their tour sets up a whole bunch of fun possibilities. Gran has a good handle on the characters and the dialogue corresponds with the show so subsequent issues should be even more enjoyable.
The main problem I had with the main story was that it was too short. Clocking up at only 16 pages (with the remaining being taken up with a backup story). Though I have to cut Gran some slack as she is doing a large amount of the work herself and the I can definitely say I got my value for money overall.
When it comes to the art Gran manages to emulate the show perfectly with all the characters and location looking spot on. Some of her style comes through though with the original characters created for this series such as ghost drummer Bongo and mysterious keyboardist; Guy. They look very much like characters that would appear in Octopus Pie so it’s nice to see Gran get to be inventive with her designs and bring new things to the world of Adventure Time. The colours by Lisa Moore help accentuate the look of the show with the use of bright colours but she really gets to shine when being more creative, mainly during one of Marceline’s gigs in which she sticks to just reds and black that give the scene a dream like quality as well as highlighting Marceline’s vampire nature.
The backup, written and drawn by Jen Wang, tells a brief story from Marceline’s past that reads almost like a fairy tale. It follows a simple plot of Marceline finding a cursed guitar that allows for Wang to give an insight into her past and personality. Her innocent nature is exposed as she sings about her deceased puppy but she exhibits a frightening and violent side when she learns the nature of the Genie who inhabits the guitar and her caring side when she interacts with a child. It’s only seven pages but it provides a cohesive look at Marceline’s multilayered personality. The art is a little different from the main story as it’s a little more sketchy and bizarre but it fits within the dream like nature of the story.
Whether you’re a fan of the show, all ages comics or supernatural rock bands you’ll have a lot of fun with Marceline and the Scream Queens.