Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CBR Over the Garden Wall Special #1

I meant to review this comic for a really long while, and now that I have finally covered the show I can do so in time for Halloween!

There's all kind of magical places and strange creatures one might encounter in the Unknown, but none are as silly as these soldiers

What a Cartoon! Check the reviews for these following Cartoon Network series:

Comic title: Over the Garden Wall Special #1 
Art by Jim Campbell
Story by Patrick McHale 

Published by KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios 
From 2014
Lineup Over the Garden Wall series
Format: One-shot standalone issue Over the Garden Wall Special #1.

Here is a fun all-age title perfect for this time of the year! 

Over the Garden Wall was created by Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network. Prior to that McHale worked on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and Adventure Time as a writer and a storyboard artist. He envisioned his tale as Halloween special feature film before it became a mini-series.

They produced first an animated short in 2013, a proof of the concept called "Tome of the Unknown". It was produced as part of a series of shorts Cartoon Network Studios made for possible program developments. The series would finally be retitled "Over the Garden Wall", all 10 episodes would air through a single week starting on Halloween, through November 2014.
The miniseries has a great mix of comedy and fantasy tone, with its fair share of great creepy moments along some lighter and funnier situations. The series revolves around a pair of siblings lost in the woods...

This one-shot comic Over the Garden Wall Special #1 was published by KaBoom! as a companion to the show. It was released on November 2014. 

The comic was written and supervised by its creator Pat McHale and it was illustrated by Jim Campbell, a writer and storyboard artist on the series. 

This comic takes place early in the overall storyline.

Our story finds Wirt and Greg, once more on their journey through the Unknown trying to find a way back home, with the help of a bluebird named Beatrice.

They find themselves lost and Wirt's already giving up. He doesn't want to be annoyed by his half-sibling or Beatrice and is ready to stay there. What's the point after all?

They witness a strange occurrence - a bunch of lost soldiers travelling through these pastures aboard a giant hat-boat!

Greg can't wait to join the crew, Beatrice doesn't like it and Wirt is being annoyingly Wirt-like.

This adventure sees Wirt starting to enjoy himself Wirt as he finally accepts his fate. Greg wants to be the best crewmate ever but all his attempts turn for the worse! And Private Applesauce - Greg's frog's name in this story - is being the usual friendly supportive pet that he is.

The crew turns out to be pretty crazy!

Maybe they better continue their adventures on foot...

This story was based on a scrapped episode from the show when they decided to focus on only 10 episodes.

Let's start by the beginning and mention how this is a decent comic book companion/adaptation to one of the best recent cartoons I've watched in ages. The comic manages a great job capturing the look, tone and spirit of the show!

While the story doesn't move forward, since Over the Garden Wall was a self-contained complete story, but if anything it's a really good fun silly story that brings us back into the Unknown and these great characters.

I would have loved to see the rest of the characters such as The Beast or the Woodsman, but no such luck here since this was based on one of the early episodes. 

It's also less darker in tone from the actual show, but the great writing brings all these dialogues to life!

I reminded me of classic fairy tale, like the show.

It's well written and well illustrated. And that's all I could ask for a companion comic like this. It doesn't add anything to the mythos really, and it feels like a missing episode.

There were two variant covers for this special, a great creepy cover by series creator Patrick McHale , and another one from Jim Campbell (which is mine above).

Overall, this special will get you back Over the Garden Wall. It's a perfect all-age Halloween read, although the horror element is not as present as on the actual series.

It had this very classic tone (the same goes for the Cartoon Network miniseries), which reminded me of classics such as Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz. A tale about lost children encountering these weird places and people. Poetic in tone.

It's very much a self-contained adventure, and these soldiers in the middle of the pasture were pretty funny.

The only downside is that you wish there was more to go for.

Good news, following the success of the show and this first comic KaBOOM! already confirmed and started an actual ongoing series. They will continue to offer us a look at the Unknown and be similar in tone to this one-shot special.

I give it:
2 / 3 Ampersands!

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