With this month's Adventure Time #36, the award-winning run from Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb comes to a close, making way for the new creative team of Christopher Hastings and Zachary Sterling. It's an interesting and exciting piece of news, especially for fans who know Hastings from his work on the long-running Adventures of Dr. McNinja webcomic, but after three years, North, Paroline and Lamb's run is worth looking back on as one of the best comics -- not one of the best licensed books or one of the best kids comics, one of the best comics -- of the past few years.
To that end, I spoke to both North and Hastings for a combined exit and entrance interview. Today, the two writers look back on North's run, including the incredible "Choose Your Own Adventure Time" issue and Marceline's knowledge of computer hacking.
We're excited about Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, the forthcoming series from writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson. Now, sure, Henderson is a contributor to the site and a collaborateur with that Sims fellow, but we'd be excited about this book even if that weren't the case, because it promises a lot of things we want to see more of in comics: a confident and self-defined female protagonist, smart comedy pitched at an all-ages audience, quirky superheroics, and entertainment that's squarely welcoming to an emerging audience of young female comic readers -- or as we like to call them, 'the future'.
So now we get our first chance to see if the comic will live up to our expectations, courtesy of an unlettered two-page preview of the book, and a two-page lettered teaser that sees Ms. Doreen Green giving full voice to her own theme song. The good news? It's charming, funny, and looks fantastic. If you're not on board the Squirrel Girl train, you may want to follow the example of one of the young men in this preview and reconsider your choices.
Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb's run on the Adventure Time comic is barreling headlong toward its conclusion, and it looks like before they're done, they're participating in the time-honored tradition of taking a look at a future where Everything Has Gone Horribly Wrong! You know, like Days of Future Past or that Batman story where Batman's kid wears a trenchcoat and has a cat. It's a tradition, y'all, but in Finn's case, he at least gets a pretty sweet beard out of the deal.
Of all the sentences I've read in comics news this week, none have been as much of an emotional rollercoaster as this one: Ryan North is leaving the Adventure Time comic, and will be replaced as writer by Christopher Hastings.
The announcement comes after almost three years of North's tenure as writer alongside artists Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb, which included multiple awards for the series including an Eisner for Best Publication For Kids, and was revealed when the solicitations for January's issue were released, announcing the new team of Hastings, the creator of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, and artist Zachary Sterling, who previously worked on Boom!'s line of Adventure Time original graphic novels.
We're big fans of animator, illustrator, and comic artist Erica Henderson around these parts -- her work frequently appears in our Best Art Ever feature, and she's provided several amazing illustrations for the site, including a portrait of her Subatomic Party Girls collaborator Chris Sims for the ongoing Ask Chris feature. We're also rather fond of Ryan North, writer of Midas Flesh, To Be Or Not To Be, and the beloved Adventure Time comic. And, of course, everyone loves Marvel's Squirrel Girl.
So we're very excited to learn via Entertainment Weekly that Henderson and North are joining forces on a Squirrel Girl ongoing series, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Now, sure, maybe the world wasn't specifically clamoring for a Squirrel Girl book, and now we're getting one from these creators, it's everything we didn't know we always wanted.
It's really starting to look like 2014 is the year of the giant, oversized offbeat anthology comic. Not only have we gotten books like Cosmic Scoundrels and Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories, but today, Boom! Studios announced the latest offering from their creator-owned imprint, the Boom! Box 2014 Mix Tape, and it already looks amazing.
Clocking in at an oversized 8.5 x 11", the Mix Tape is set to include a pretty impressive roster, including covers by Teen Dog creator Jake Lawrence and a new Lumberjanes story written and drawn by Noelle Stevenson, and a new story from the award-winning team behind Adventure Time, Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb. And if that wasn't enough, we have an exclusive look at character designs for four short stories by Rian Sygh, including Teen Prez, which may actually be the Sensational Character Find of 2014.
One of the great thing about the Adventure Time comics -- and there are a lot of great things about the Adventure Time comics -- is how great they are for telling stories with the familiar Cartoon Network characters that you could only really tell in comics. The best example might have been the fantastic Choose-Your-Own-Adventure issue, but next week, writer Ryan North and artists Kat Philbin, Missy Pena, Becca Tobin, Liz Prince, Carey Pietsch, Jesse Tise, Ian McGinty, T. Zysk, David Cutler, Yumi Sakugawa, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb (phew) are doing it again with a special issue that's all about the cast making their own zines.
That's right, everyone: If you've ever wanted to know what a zine would look like if it was made by BMO, now is your chance to find out. It's about a bear named Cool Bear, and it is amazing.
Finn and Jake have been on a crazy ride over the last four issues of BOOM! Studios' Adventure Time series. Courtesy of Eisner-winning series writer Ryan North and visiting artist Jim Rugg, the plucky pair have traversed dark dungeons, confronted mind-body dualism by dying and becoming ghosts, pranked the Ice King, reprogrammed BMO, and been busted by spook hunter Ant-Ghost Princess. Naturally along the way they've made some eminently bad calls that have screwed everything up for basically everybody in the Land of Ooo. Also we saw the Mecha Lumpy Space Princess. Finally, this particular saga comes to an end in issue #27, which BOOM! promises will see the intervention of an "unlikely" ally.
It's one of those weird quirks about comics that when something is really, really good, you kind of forget about it for a while. Being great becomes the standard, so you almost forget about how good it is until something comes along and it suddenly gets even better. Like, say, when the Adventure Time comic teams up writer Ryan Northwith Street Angel and Afrodisiac creator Jim Rugg to introduce a bold new character named Anti-Ghost Princess in next week's issue.
That's right, Finn and Jake have shuffled off this mortal coil and have been reduced to haunting the candy castle, leading Princess Bubblegum to call in Anti-Ghost Princess and her team to handle these supernatural shennanigans once and for all. And I can assure you: this bit of busting certainly makes me feel good. Check out a preview below!
Ryan North's Adventure Timerun with artist Jim Rugg has yielded many welcome surprises (a mecha Lumpy Space Princess, for one) but fans have also paid a price for such a creative rampage as Finn and Jake have learned about mind-body dualism the hard way by becoming ghosts in a machine. Now the spectral heroes have to turn to the last person they can usually count on to return to being flesh and buds: Ice King. Get an exclusive first-look at next week's Adventure Time #27 past the cut for a taste of how the heroes fare on their quest to become corporeal.
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