Writer: Sean Patrick O’Reilly, Shawn DePasquale & Robert Olmedo
Pencils: Leisl Adams
Letterer: Shawn DePasquale
Editor: Mike Kalvoda
Publisher: Arcana Studios
One surefire way to get me to try a comic book: charge a mere 25 cents for it. And Arcana Studio jas done some really strong kids comics before, with their Clockwork Girl being a particular favorite of mine. So sure, I’ll try this Pixies special.
As it turns out, this book is a preview both of an upcoming graphic novel and an upcoming motion picture. The Pixies in our story are given a thankless task. In retribution for a childhood indiscretion, the Pixies have tormented a young man named Joe for his entire life, slamming him with one misfortune after another, without him ever understanding what’s happening to him. The Pixies in charge of his bad luck are getting tired of their task, though, and the result may be the best day of Joe’s life.
The story is strong. There’s a real simple, funny premise here that will play well with younger readers, but also appeal to any adult who’s ever felt put-upon, like they’ve been saddled with the weight of the world and don’t really understand why. It’s something that happens to everybody, and it makes us feel for poor Joe, connect to him in a way we can’t always do in stories of this sort. The Pixies themselves each have their own clear, distinct personality, making it more fun to read about them. I liked this comic a lot. It’s well worth the 25 cents, and it makes me far more interested in both the graphic novel and the movie.
There are three problems with kids’ comics these days. First, there aren’t enough of them. Second, they aren’t sold where kids are shopping. third, kids can’t afford them. Well, there isn’t much one title can do about #2, but The Clockwork Girl #1 from Arcana Kids does its darndest to solve #1 and #3. In this 99-cent first issue (which will be followed by a $1.99 issue two, still a bargain), Kevin Hanna, Sean O’Reilly and Grant Bond introduce us to this bizarre new fairy tale world where the sciences divide themselves almost into different states. The Chemist is at odds with the Geologist and the Botanist and so on. Wilhelm, the Tinkerer, has created a magnificent robot girl for his demonstration at the Haraway Fair. The girl is a miracle of technological wonder, but Wilhelm’s plans may turn out to go askew when she befriends a mutant boy rom the realm of Dendrus the Grafter, worshipper of the power of nature and Wilhelm’s arch-rival. This comic is wonderfully engaging, with characters that are immediately likable and artwork that flows from one varied science to the other as smoothly as silk. It’s like Romeo and Juliet meets The Wizard of Oz, unlike anything else on the stands, and gives us a new world that kids can get absolutely lost in.