Writer: Adam & Aidan Glass
Artist: Diego Yapur
Colorist: Sarah Stern
Lettering: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Robert Hack
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
What a cool concept this book has…and I only wish it had been executed better. I’m not sure what’s up with this narrative technique of having a main character telling anything that’s important about them, but without acknowledging that they’re telling it or giving a clue as to who they’re telling it to…? If I wanted to read someone’s play by play of an event or life, I’d go find a diary (which can be a legit storytelling tactic if done well), but I want to read a story, and one in a very visual format at that, which should have more showing than any other form of literature by the sheer definition of the medium. I wonder why editors are accepting this, when I hear the critique of so many writers’ work to be encouraging the exact opposite of having characters and/or narrators telling readers everything.
Thanks for listening to my rant. Now, on to the specific book: The Lollipop Kids has a main character, whose name I, at least, couldn’t find. This character has a very strange encounter right on the first page, then goes through twelve pages of a mostly slow and unnecessary backstory, before anything is ever revealed about the strange encounter…which still didn’t make much sense to me, since the first time it was indoors, but then it was revealed that it was outside. What’s more, this character has nothing even close to approaching a fourteen-year-old’s “voice,” let alone a reason why he is thinking in complete, reflective sentences, instead of reacting to actions and events, which would be much more interesting and engaging to readers.
The art is where the book shines. It’s unique and detailed and pretty accurate. The atmosphere is enhanced by the colors as well. Thus, when I flipped through The Lollipop Kids, I really thought I was going to like it, so it hit kind of hard when I was sorely disappointed. I will give it a second chance by checking out issue two, so I hope that the writing is vastly better going forward. For now, I can’t in good conscience give it high praise, even though the idea behind it is really cool. To top it all off, the editing is terrible, as I stumbled over error upon error. Come on AfterShock, you need to up your game. It’s a disservice to hardworking creators to not help them out by finding and fixing mistakes and to not encourage them to improve their storytelling.