At some point, comics stopped being for kids. I may be generalizing a bit here, but the concept still rings true. I got into comics when I was full into my teenage years and desperate for the blood-soaked pages of Aliens and Spawn, but I still do remember the pitiful “kid’s rack” at my ol’ comic shop. Over four walls devoted to the college-age consumer, and one spin-rack stocked with the typical Disney-fare. There are many different reasons and elements to consider when discussing the current state of comics for the wee-folk, but the most important point is that there are those in the industry who are attempting to improve the situation. New independent publisher WE Comics is one of the supporters of this cause, and the first issue of their new book, How I Spent My Summer Invasion, is a great first step in that direction!
Just so I’m clear, WE Comics isn’t interested in comics for ONLY kids. What makes WE Comics so great is that the company, according to their mission statement, is focused on producing “content that is accessible to readers of all types.” WE Comics writer Patrick Rieger and artist Mark Sean Wilson succeed in this goal with their first issue of How I Spent My Summer Invasion! While the book is clearly meant to appeal to children first, like any good story, it can easily be enjoyed by all ages. How I Spent My Summer Invasion is the story of Russ and Tim, two best friends who’ve spent only one day on summer vacation and are already bored to tears. Fortunately for them, a haphazard home run sends their baseball into the nearby yard that just so happens to also serve as a secret hotel for intergalactic travelers. Over the course of the first issue, Russ and Tim are introduced to a world they never knew existed, manage to save the world from certain destruction, and even end up getting hired for a summer job that is out of this world!
How I Spent My Summer Invasion #1 has a lot going for it! The characters are great and it’s obvious that writer Patrick Rieger had a lot of fun creating this first adventure for Russ and Tim. Rieger creates some emotionally satisfying moments for his characters and creates a world that seems straight out of a young child’s imagination. Rieger’s script also benefits massively from the work of talented illustrator Mark Sean Wilson. The variety of weird and unique-looking aliens (including a ravenous and mobile stomach, a creature with baseball bats for hair, and one critter composed of water and piranhas) is sure to capture the imagination of young readers and inspire their own “extra-terrestrial doodles,” and Wilson’s coloring job raises the level of the book from great to extraordinary!
Now that the “origin story” has been told, I just hope that Rieger and Wilson continue towards orbit and raise the level with each consecutive issue. While the art is sure to hook readers in the first issue, I hope we can see some sweet full-page or two-page spreads in the upcoming issues. Wilson’s aliens are so distinct and full of personality that a detailed glory shot of the hotel and its inhabitants could not only convey a sense of awe and wonder, but end up being a beautiful cross between a Where’s Waldo? picture and some classic Dr. Suess art. With such a luxurious, expansive, and weird setting, I anticipate Wilson and Rieger confidently taking on the task. I also think the hotel setting offers the perfect reason to see new and varied creatures in every issue. With guests traveling to and fro from all corners of the galaxy, there should be an endless assortment of critters, and I know my inner six-year-old would’ve loved that sort of thing.
You can learn more about How I Spent My Summer Invasion and WE Comics at the official website, and you can purchase a digital copy of How I Spent My Summer Invasion #1. (Only $1!!! Go support independent comics!!! CLICK HERE!!!) Also, be sure to stop by the WE Comics Facebook page and follow them on Twitter (@WEComics).
That’s all for now, comic book sniffers! Keep reading!
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer