A comic book series by acclaimed writers to pay tribute to the work of the one and only Ray Bradbury? Count me in, but is it good?
Shadow Show #1 (IDW Publishing)
The concept behind this book is sound: turn the short stories from Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury into comics. These short stories were written by writers who were told to pay homage to Bradbury through stories that in one way or another reflected his influence. The first issue is written by acclaimed horror novelist Joe Hill and drawn by Charles Paul Wilson III. It should be noted Joe Hill only wrote the short story and this issue was actually adapted by Jason Ciaramella.
Yeah what is squash?
The story is very wistful and captures a sense of naivete children have when they go playing in the woods. In this case the children go playing on the beach and what they find is quite fascinating. Hill conjures up the joy of children as they make a discovery as well as the contemplation of telling adults what they’ve found. It all opens with a loud and obnoxious group of kids cooped up in the house with a mother screaming for them to go out and play. The grandeur of the moment is wild and fun to see too. A child’s imagination can sometimes be bigger than life itself…until of course the Bradbury inspired portion comes into play.
I don’t want to ruin it, because really the discovery of the moment is what makes this issue work. I will say this, the boy in the story does something a bit morbid and even though all seems well a very dark twist occurs that one wouldn’t expect in a story about children playing. It comes as a surprise and it’s a nice twist to the proceedings.
The art by Charles Paul Wilson III is quite cartoony as if taken from a cartoon itself. The characters are very simple, especially in their expressions and the world is painterly. This dulls the twisted nature of the ending, but serves a great deal in making the imagination of the children more fun and believable.
Being a parent stinks!
Is It Good?
The concept of the story is cute and lovable, but with a twisted underbelly Bradbury fans should love. The art felt a bit off for my tastes, but it’s still a sound tale.