Warring for centuries, two great armies battle on and on with a secret in their midst: The daughter of the Yellow King has fallen in love with the son of the Yellow King. But, because of their loyalty, they battled each other as enemies, save for the one night they came together as lovers . . . until they were discovered by the Yellow King.
Or so we’re told by the precocious demon-kid, Kit, to Belle and Moon, his best friends in the whole wide world of Showside, a bright and colorful Saturday morning TV show of a dream. Combining disparate elements as disparate as German heroic legends and a world referencing the giddy daffiness of SpongeBob SquarePants Bikini Bottom, McGinty gives us a new kind of hero in the green-skinned, puce-haired Kit, dedicated to keeping the town of Showside safe from the monsters and demons that attack it.
But, Kit is hiding a secret, one directly related to the legends of old, and one that may wreak havoc on everyone in this wild, candy-colored town.
McGinty’s all-ages, horror, one-stop shop of a book manages to both entice and delight readers, and he captures the daffy, ping-pong-like conversations of his little trio with amazing verisimilitude. Deep conversations are cut short by the need for a Beef N Dog Waffle Taco. Combat skills are gleaned from a hand-held video game. A magic portal is admired just before things “get monstery.”
Creator McGinty makes no secret that he wants everyone to feel free to play in his sandbox. The opening 5 pages of the book, detailing the battle of the two armies, is lushly drawn by S.M Vidaurri and provides a cunning counterpoint to the pop-candy world to follow.
With an animated cartoon series in the works, Welcome to Showside #1 is a brilliant entry into the mind of a creator obviously just raring to make a huge splash in the all-ages market, and this is a great start.
Moon: “Wouldn’t it be so awesome if it was a true story, though?”
Moon: “Yeah, I mean not so much a mad demon king bent on destruction, but a whole ‘nother world of magical people in it, like The Light! You know, beautiful and noble. But, strong and rad, that sort of thing. Like that girl from the stor-“
Belle: “OHMYGOD A SEAGULL JUST POOPED ON THAT DUDE’S HAT!”
Verdict: Four out of Five