With their extremely successful sitcom Husbands, creators Jane Espenson and Brad Bell have exceeded expectations, earned rave reviews and praise from critics and fans, and pushed the classic premise of the newlywed sitcom into the modern American world where marriage equality is an ever-present issue (check out FBC’s interview Espenson and Bell here). Having mastered its online sitcom format, Husbands made the jump this week (with Espenson and Bell) into the sequential art universe in the form of a digital release from Dark Horse Comics, and, honestly, from where this Comic Book Slayer is sitting, Husbands: Drawn In #1 scores a near-perfect landing!
Written by Espenson and Bell and with art by Ron Chan (The Guild: Clara, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), Husbands: Drawn In succeeds where many licensed comic book endeavors fail, by not attempting to merely recreate the same experience in the sequential art form. Making an incredibly smart writing choice, Espenson and Bell have added a swirl of epic adventure to this story in the form of a mysterious wedding gift: an enchanted comic book! Lifting the premise of Husbands from sitcom to comic book fantasy, the three main characters (Cheeks, Brady, and Haley) are transported to the pages of a superhero adventure comic where they live out alternate, yet appropriate, roles set in an adventure, serial-style 1930s. Espenson and Bell are obviously having an enormous amount of fun in this endeavor, as the writing is crisp and witty (with even the narrator getting in on the fun with some “panel” humor) and a cliffhanger ending that sends our heroes on to another panel-to-panel adventure – Quantum Leap style!
I would be remiss not to mention the art in this book, as well. Chan’s interior art is the perfect blend of cartoony and comic book and perfectly matches the tone of the Husbands sitcom while not imprisoning it in a style that prevents the book from spreading its comic book wings. Chan’s mastery of subtle facial expressions is perfect, his colors are vibrant and exciting, and his depictions of Cheeks, Brady, and Haley are instantly recognizable without being boring, photo-realistic interpretations. I also need to throw some major props to Chan for the cover art (present on this review page) that he crafted for this first issue. It’s one of the most beautiful comic book covers of the year and a piece to be truly proud of.
You can find out more about Husbands: Drawn In, read a free preview, and purchase a digital copy at the Dark Horse Comics website. Also, if you haven’t yet watched the Husbands sitcom, then be sure to stop by and familiarize yourself with what Ira Glass calls ‘the future of TV.’
That wraps up things for now, comic book sniffers! Until next time, keep praying that your wedding gifts are uber-cool enough to include an enchanted comic book (CCG graded, of course)!
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer