Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: The Adventure Begins
What’s the best thing in Joey’s life? The adventures of his hero, Awesome Man!
Writers: Joe Mateo & David Oshima
Art: Joe Mateo
Editor: David Oshima
Cover Art: Joe Mateo
Publisher: Astonish Comics
There aren’t enough good comics out there for kids, and there are even fewer that are based on original properties and not some cartooon show. That’s why Astonish Comics held such promise for me. An entire publisher based on the motto, “Remember your childhood, and pass it on.” Comics for kids, and great comics, like Herobear and the Kid and Spooner.
Sadly, although The Astonish Factory is still up and running, there haven’t been new comics in quite some time. I’ve had to content myself with hunting down back issues of comics like Joe Mateo’s Awesome Man. This is really the story of a young boy named Joey, whose older brother David has gotten too old to be friends with him anymore. Joey retreats into the world of his favorite cartoon hero, Awesome Man… but when he and David find a mysterious glowing meteor one night, the world of his hero may well be intruding on his own.
This is the classic kid’s superhero fantasy. Becoming your hero, entering his world… every child who ever read a superhero comic has dreamt about this very thing, and Mateo and Oshima get this across very well. Aside from a sweet story with good characters, Mateo’s artwork is good too. He has a fine, animated style with a slight unfinished look to it — as if he didn’t erase all of the pencil lines after he inked — but it works for this comic.
The Astonish Factory is still alive. I’d love to see more comics like this, because remembering your childhood is a goal far too many of us fall short on.