In my preview of Terminal Punks, I explained how much love I have for Mad Cave Studios and why they are one of the rising stars of the Comic Book game!!! This next book, which releases on November 4th is no different! Before you read my thoughts....watch this:
The Nitty Gritty
A pair of teenagers life is turned upside down with the death of their mother. It was not fully a surprise as she'd been sick for a year, yet the death brought something new...new family, new circumstances, and eventually a new school.
The story focuses on Haley and Max. Haley is deaf and until they land in their new home, Max serves as her primary sign-language interpreter and protector. Life begins anew when they land at their new home, the Wafair Academy for Special Needs (which Haley hates the name, but she gets by). It immediately feels like home, as there are multiple people who can communicate with her with ease. Both of them are welcomed instantly with ease into a small friend group. Immediately, they become thick as thieves...eventually they become actual Thieves with a taste for justice. But as we learn throughout the rest of the book is like a taste for Lays potato chips...."I bet you can't have just one!"
There are several things to love about this story. First the way Haley's deafness is written into the story and used in the art is phenomenal from the squiggled lines of those actually speaking, the slight motions in the hands to show sign-language occurring, and the heavy reliance on text-messaging as a means of communication are all eloquently done. Additionally, there may be one of the first non-binary characters I've seen in a comic book without an storyline which focuses on Queerness and identity.
The art is both subtle and stunning, and the colorist and letterer both bring their talents to heighten your understanding of the characters' perspectives and makes life at the Wayfair Academy for Special Needs something you desire and wouldn't want to be torn away from.
This book speaks to everyone. Even if you are not intrinsically in love with comics, this is a story which feels relatable to everyone who's ever felt different for any reason. I'm excited to hold a physical issue of this in my hands and fall in love with it all over again on November 4th!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...