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‘Welcome to Showside #2:’ Comic Book Review

The first issue of Welcome to Showside makes little to no sense. It throws us headfirst into the story without any kind of explanation of . . . anything, really. This can be a good thing and a way to prevent a story from getting bogged down in exposition, but when a character suddenly has a talking book or points her hands at something and yells, “Magic!” (with corresponding magic then flowing from said hands), it’s kind of nice to have at least some idea of what’s going on.

In that regard, this second issue is a significant improvement. It begins with a brief explanation of who these characters are, what their situation is, and what kind of place their hometown of Showside is.

There’s Moon, who can do magic and has a talking book called Teenomicon. There’s Belle, who’s strong and feisty and the daughter of a famous demon hunter, and who says “Dude” a whole lot. Belle also has a little brother named Toulouse. And then, there’s Kit, who’s a demon, but, like, a chill demon, who also says “Dude” a lot, but not quite as much as Belle. Showside is a place where working-class demons can live and work in relative peace—until the genuinely evil demons show up, at which point they’re thwarted by Belle, Kit, and Moon.

In this issue, the evil demon is a shapeshifting creature that uses an enchanted necklace to possess the body of a kid on the beach. The demon then takes Kit and tries to bring him back to his father, who’s a major demon guy. With the help of Toulouse and the guy who runs their favorite food truck, our heroes set out to thwart this evil demon.

After the main story, we’re given another shorter adventure which involves ghosts and hot chocolate. The story makes almost no sense, but it’s still kind of fun.

That’s the bottom line for this comic in general. Even with the explanations, the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The official plot synopsis bears almost no resemblance to the two issues we’ve been given so far. Still, I think the story’s not supposed to make a huge amount of sense. It’s zany and off the wall and occasionally self-aware (with references to the fact that they’re in a comic). There are demons who run food trucks and demons who say “Dude.” Obviously, it’s not meant to be taken too seriously. It does have some fun and funny moments.

In many ways, the comic plays like a cartoon show—which is not a coincidence. Creator Ian McGinty is currently producing a TV pilot based on the comic, starring himself and Henry Rollins, among others. There’s a six-minute version of it on YouTube, which you can check out if you care to. If you like the video, chances are you’ll enjoy the comic too.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



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