Thursday, May 19, 2016

CBR Adventure Time OGN Vol. 4: Bitter Sweets

The fourth Adventure Time original graphic novel is a solo adventure of P.B. and Peppermint Butler!

That's about all you need to know!

Comic title: Adventure Time Original Graphic Novel Vol. 4: Bitter Sweets or simply Adventure Time: Bitter Sweets
Art by Zack Sterling, Chrystin Garland & Meredith McClaren
Written by Kate Leth

Published by Boom! Studios imprint KaBOOM! Studios
From November 2014
Lineup Adventure Time series
Format: Original digest-sized graphic novel.

Along the super-popular Eisner award-winning main Adventure Time comic book series, Boom! Studios keep publishing all kinds of mini-series. From the stand alone spinoff series to their line of companion original graphic novels.

These graphic novels are the perfect occasion to explore different set of characters outside the main heroes of the series Finn the Human and Jake the Dog. Don't let the volume number fool you, despite that these are perfectly self-contained standalone stories.

After three digest-sized manga-inspired (think Scott Pilgrim) graphic novels - Playing With Fire, Pixel Princesses and Seeing Red - comes the 4th volume, Bitter Sweets!

With the success of Seeing Red, webcomic cartoonist Kate Leth (KATE OR DIE!) returned to write this new book. With OGN series regular artist Zach Sterling back on art duties.

Adventure Time Vol. 4: Bitter Sweets was released in November 2014.

This time it's a tale focusing on Princess Bubblegum and Peppermint Butler. And for the first time, this book is also in full color!

It's that time of the year!

Once every decade, Princess Bubblegum leaves the Candy Kingdom to recharge the 4 magical gems that power the entire kingdom, four different gems from four different realms.

She takes off with Peppermint Butler to these far off kingdoms in the outskirts of Ooo. The first place she visits is the Sea Caves where she's impressed by all the progresses they made since last time, cleaning up the place and making it shiny new!

After that the duo ventures to the Vegetable Kingdom in the mountain pass. Same wise, it's all dusted off and looking brand-new!

Later on, they finally reach the Spirit Hollow.. only to find the place completely destroyed, abandoned and in ruin! What happened?! Who stole Princess Fern's enchanted stones and light?!

PB must solve this problem tied between these three kingdoms if she wants to get the amulets recharged in time to help her own Candy Kingdom...

As always, Bitter Sweets is a pretty nice self-contained standalone story.

These graphic novels are always a nice way to enjoy a longer story, something like you would get from a mini-story arc on the show.

Finally having Princess Bubblegum and Peppermint Butler as the main protagonists is nice (although I do mice the minor characters starring in the lead role from the first graphic novels). Although they're not entirely the sole main characters here, these three original new kingdoms receive as much focus.

As always, the art is nice. And the story is interesting, there are a lot of funny jokes and allusions to elements from the show such as Peppermint Butler's dark powers. That's always funny!

This volume is a great addition to this series of original graphic novels and a chance to feature a bit more Princess Bubblegum without  Finn & Jake stealing all the attention.

What surprised me this time was that the book was in color, since this series was supposed to be a manga-style black and white spinoff. I get that from now on they will all be in colors, I suppose Boom Studios thought people weren't buying the book because it didn't have colors. And these colors are wonderful! The colors are by Whitney Cogar & Fred Stresing, and they don't feel as computerized as the colors on the main AT series, it looks more natural and paintbrushed.

It's a really colorful story, the change of format didn't detract much for me. It's a sweet little story.

And as per tradition the book also features a backup side story. This one also featuring a very minor character from the show, "Forest Princess Gets a Pet" written and illustrated by Meredith McClaren. It's short and sweet. And finally we finally get something with this intriguing Forest Princess character (formerly named Jungle Princess on storyboards of the show).

Overall, Bitter Sweets was a great book!

I Recommend you check it out if you're looking for a nice and sweet all-age comic for both fans and newcomers of the show. You don't even need to read any prior volume or much familiarity with the show to fully enjoy this!

It's a whole lot of fun. With lovely cartoony artwork, a really enjoyable read. And we finally get Princess Bubblegum as a main protagonist! The bonus Forest Princess mini-story was the cherry on top!

I give it:
2 / 3 Snoopies!

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