Oct 12, 2018

Review: Rainbow Brite #1

Today we turn the Cube over to Samantha Anne, musician, writer, chef, and comic book reader. I got a review copy of Rainbow Brite #1 and immediately opened it up to the Comics Cube family, and.... here's Samantha!

Review: Rainbow Brite #1
by Samantha Anne

Yeah, so. I’ve never reviewed a comic before. 

I’ve reviewed other things, sure – bands, books, recipes. I’ve even written a couple of novels and recorded an album. But no comics. So, when this landed in my lap, the first hour after involved me questioning whether I was even qualified to review a Rainbow Brite comic. 

“But consider the operative words there, Sam.” I told myself. 

Rainbow Brite. It’s been years, granted, but I’m a pretty big Rainbow Brite fangirl. It was the kind of fangirl love that inevitably led to my Lisa Frank obsession in my teens that, even now, still manages to rear its technicolor head from time to time. I watched the cartoon, I had the dolls, and a vinyl album or two…hell, I’m humming the theme song as I write this. So, feck yeah – I’m qualified. 

Now. After reading Issue #1, I was compelled to track down the variant covers and find out as much about the artists involved as I could. Man, I was not disappointed. I managed to find a total of seven variants, almost all of which I wanted to print and plaster all over a full wall of my apartment. The nostalgia of the Rainbow Brite I remember combined with the fresh imagery presented directly from the minds of Paulina Ganucheau and Tony Fleecs made me smile unabashedly as I Google searched, thirsty for more information and graphics about the new incarnation of Wisp and the Color Kids. The covers are honestly glorious. But that’s just me… I love colors. (Maybe just not on me, I think to myself as I realize that I’m wearing black and white for the millionth day in a row.)

Jeremy Whitley, Princeless creator, handled the writing and I legitimately have no basis for comparison because I admittedly don’t know much of his work. But, as kid-friendly comics go, he worked a great story, nailing it in terms of simplicity while keeping it intriguing enough to be a page turner. And really, if simplicity in storytelling isn’t your thing, bear in mind that this, while it certainly is appropriate for all ages, is a kid-forward comic. This might not be for you, but you’ll be okay! That said, I researched his work for all of two minutes and ended up adding six comics to be TBR list – like *that* needed to get any bigger. Tony Esposito, fearless Letterer, provided a great flow throughout the issue, and I can imagine this series being any kid’s bedtime story and a sweet bonding moment between them and their comic-loving parent. 

The art and color are playful, super complementary of one another, and both really clean and pleasing. Valentine Pinto and Brittney Williams are both delightful artists, and it shows in every panel. The drawing is wonderfully bubbly and easy on the eyes, kind of like a cartoon show that makes you feel like you’re 10 again and faking a sick day. The color is fun, bright, and almost prismatic in places, and it really triggered a feeling of anticipation as the story continued to build (I was all “Oh god, I want to get to Rainbow Land!). Also, you should know every artist involved with this issue got cyber-stalked (including Tony Esposito, who actually followed me back on Twitter. Do I… do I send him stuff now?)

So, I did the thing. And I liked it. Not only did I enjoy the visit with a childhood favorite, but I found a ton of artists to follow which, given that it’s Inktober, is terribly appropriate and amazing. Plus, tonight’s pre-writing procrastination will likely include spiraling down a Rainbow Brite-themed rabbit hole, sponsored by YouTube and Google Images. So, there’s that. 

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