Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the first issue of Little Nemo.
I didn’t have much knowledge of the series, but I found it quite accessible, very imaginative, and highly engaging to read. After such a long time, I’m rather excited to read the second issue. Is it good?
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #2 (IDW Publishing)
After many attempts at reaching Slumberland, James “Nemo” Summerton finally reaches the gates and is let inside. He’s given a hero’s welcome and big parade upon entering, though he still has a few more steps to go before he gets to meet the princess. Unfortunately, he’s still not exactly in the mood to be a playmate for a girl and there’s also this guy named Flip who likes causing problems…
And once you wake up, you’ll have wet the bed.
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #2 features some of the same positive aspects… and negative ones it had last time. We still haven’t really gotten a main plotline or overall hook for the tale just yet, outside of Nemo becoming the Princess’ new playmate. However, despite a lack of plot progression the overall execution of the story, which has been so unique, creative, striking with its imagery and learning more about Slumberland have all been pleasant diversions. It’s such a well written and interesting book, that slow plot progression never takes away from the engrossing experience it provides. I, personally, wouldn’t hate it if I were forced to sit through another half issue that only dealt with learning more about Slumberland and its characters.
Speaking of the characters, there are still some minor problems with the lack of characterization/development for most of the cast. Nemo is still portrayed as a regular kid who just happens to be caught up in this whole situation, but doesn’t seem to have much personality beyond that (he did show some concern for Bon-Bon last issue). Bon-Bon and the Princess don’t really get to do much this issue outside of introducing some more ideas and concepts, but if you are fan of this series, I’m sure you already familiar with quite a bit of them. The most characterized and developed of the cast though is Flip, who you get a good understanding of (rather helpful for newcomers). It is still early in the series, so I can let some of this slide for now.
You may think this is silly, but the top speed on that inchworm is 200 mph.
The writing by Eric Shanower remains fantastic. While the plot is slow going, the pacing and structure of the book are still excellent and well handled. There’s never a moment where the story drags, the dialogue is engaging and while some of the humor can miss, it’s still enjoyable and at the very least will put a smile on your face. The tone and feel of the book still does a great job at capturing that dreamlike and fantastical ambiance, especially in the art department (which I’ll get to in a second). The whole title is still very easy for newcomers to get into as well, even once we venture into Slumberland. However, like last time, the book’s ending is a bit abrupt and ends on a rather down note. Sure, everything will be fine next time, but such an odd way to bring about the issue’s end.
The artwork by Gabriel Rodriguez is still absolutely gorgeous looking and a sight to behold. The creativity and imagery seen on nearly every page is marvelous and eye-catching and Rodriguez’ artwork does a wonderful job of updating the art from the original series (at least, judging from images seen from the original that are shown in the back), while also retaining the original’s feel. The characters are great, the layouts and backgrounds are handled well and teeming with life, the amount of detail put into every panel is amazing and the coloring is simply lovely. In comparison to most books I read, this is easily one of the prettiest comics I’ve read.
Except for the balloons. Those are ours of course!
Is It Good?
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #2 is another great issue of the series, really living up to the level of quality and luscious imagery we have seen so far. While it holds some of the same problems as the first issue, it also retains all of its strengths and continues to deliver on quite the experience. Definitely still recommended.