Creator/Writer: Mike Bullock
Artist: Jack Lawrence
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Ron Marz
Publisher: Image Comics
The Plot so far…
From Runemasterstudios.com: Joey's world is turned upside down when his mother accepts a job in a neighbouring town, forcing him to move away from his friends and his loving Grandmother. But just before the moving van is ready to pull out, Grandma brings him a special gift: four new stuffed animals -- a lion, two tigers and a panther - known as The Night Pride. Joey is convinced his Grandmother's stories of The Night Pride having magic powers are just that: stories. But he's about to find out his new friends are more real -- and more needed -- than he could have imagined, especially when the Beasties come creeping out of a dark closet to get him.
At the end of the first issue, little Joey falls into the world of The Night Pride. What follows is by far one of the best comics I have had the pleasure to read this year. It rivals the Brodie’s Law comics for sheer excellence. Obviously, it targets a different market, but the quality is here as it is there..., if that makes sense.
Mike Bullock plays on all the fears and wonderment we have as a child. He perfectly captures the excitement of a child in a strange, amazing world in the reactions that Joey has in this world. This issue is all about reaction: how Joey reacts to the world, how The Night Pride react to Joey, and most importantly how we react to the comic. There is something special about a story that is so simple that it can captivate its reader. I was hooked from the first issue. I was afraid that my interest wouldn’t last, but reading this issue I realise that it has me from the first page. Who as a child hasn’t wanted to go on an adventure with their toys? I know I wished I could fly alongside my ‘Super Powers’ Superman toy complete with Kryptonite ring. This story takes you on Joey’s journey as he travels with The Night Pride to meet the King Bear… and Joey doesn’t like bears. When the King Bear approaches, Joey is scared. We only see the King in the shadows. To Joey, the bear is going to be the scariest creature he has ever seen, until he steps into the light, and Joey confronts his fear and sees that he is a friendly happy bear.
My point is this; our imaginations can run wild. What we imagine to be scary is not. Imagination plays with our mind and effects how we view our environment. Imagination is the big theme of this series (along with the childhood spirit), from our own reading of it to Joey’s own imagination and how he effects the plot, possibly controlling his own story.
And Jack Lawrence, his imagination along with Mike Bullocks has created this world. Jack is amazing. Without repeating too much of my review of issue one, he is simply incredible. Everything is so clean and bright; the characters are fun and a pleasure to look at and the panels are simple to follow. The colours are so rich, and warm. The artwork reflects the story and brings it life with a buzz.
If you are not reading this, you should. Good luck in finding the back issues. This is a hot book for a reason. If you end up having to wait for the trade, buy an extra copy for that kid you know. This comic is for everyone: kids, adults and even my girlfriend is reading it… That in itself is worth the I am giving this issue!
What did you think of this book?
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