The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl #1 – Indie Review
The major comic companies get enough reviews and press, it’s time for the creator-owned and indie series to get some love and judgment. Indie review takes up-and-coming indie and creator-owned series and puts them through the review process so you can confidently support the best of the small press and passion driven projects in the comic industry.
Title: The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl #1
Writer: Matthew Spradlin (Bad Kids Go To Hell) & Dana Braziel-Solovy
Artist: David Beauchene
Colorist: Robby Bevard (Ninja High School, Pirates vs. Ninjas)
Publisher: Antarctic Press
Number of Issues: 1 (of 3)
Page Count: 32
The Review Bit
So immediately upon seeing this title advertised in previews some months ago, the first question that came to mind was “Is this a book targeted at women who attend conventions or is this the type of title guys pick up because it’s their fantasy Geek girl?” After giving The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl a rather long read, I’m not sure that I can say it is either. Sure the comic features a female lead who spends most of the issue running around in a bikini and making bad pop culture jokes, but in the same the art is hardly eye candy and the dialogue is…well, something else.
The comic opens with a hilarious foreword, describing comic conventions almost too perfectly, written by Matthew Spradlin and Dana Braziel-Solovy, the writers of the comic itself. Sadly their script is not nearly as humorous as their prose. The plot of Comic Con Girl revolves around a young cosplaying geek named Dana who, after a night of drunken antics, is in search of her prized and missing comic book. It is the last day of a Southern Californian (I presume based on reference to the Santa Monica Pier) comic convention and Dana will do everything in her power to track down her lost or stolen copy of Werewolves vs Ninas vs Zombies #1, a nod to Antarctic Press’ other pop culture heavy comic series, Pirates vs Ninjas.
The very first page of The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl begins with a relatable, alcohol caused, convention morning after. Then the title quickly takes a turn for the awkwardly gross as our hung over heroine discovers she’s shit herself in her sleep. Yes, the comic runs on that kind of humor and continues to make jokes about people drinking and shitting themselves through out the story. I can only presume this idea came from first hand experiences from one of the two writers. After Dana cleans herself, giving us a brief nude scene that exposes her rear end, she identifies the conflict that will drive this tale: her prize comic is missing. Dana quickly ventures down to the convention floor in search of friends and memories as to what happened the night before. She soon discovers she hung out with a cosplayer that is in truth a balding old man that is way too into her (and obviously is unaware she shits herself when drunk), a lesbian that spent the night flirting with her, and a group of fanboys that were in awe of her rare comic. For some odd reason, one of these fanboys who happened to be cosplaying a blue screen of death stands out to her and Dana quickly comes to the conclusion that he must have stolen the comic. Discovering that this cosplayer is entered in the convention’s masquerade (costume contest), she uses and abuses her friends and supporting cast to put together a slutty Sith outfit she can use to enter the contest as well. Ever so amazingly, when Dana finds the blue screen of death cosplayer she discovers her assumptions were correct and he did steal the comic. She also finds out the cosplayer is actually a well known celebrity that happens to produce a real life claymation TV series on Cartoon Network. I think the writers had it out for this shorter red headed actor. A fight ensues, Dana is the victor, but the comic has already exchanged hands. Dana now must track the comic, which has went from supporting character to supporting character, until she realizes her quest is hurting her friends and acquaintances. In the end a lesson is learned, but I can’t truly claim it is actually a lesson so much as they blatantly say using your friends is wrong.
The writing of The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl is pretty terrible. The story doesn’t flow very well, and there are definitely points where the reader will be left questioning why Dana is doing what she is doing. There are a few funny jokes in the comic, most of which are single word bubbles belonging to characters in the background. But the reality of it is, if you weren’t laughing on page 1 at Dana shitting herself in her sleep? You won’t be laughing through the majority of this comic which relies heavily on that style of humor and a few over the top insults exchanged between Geeks. Sadly Antarctic Press doesn’t list their letterer in the comic, or I’d be calling them out on the poor job they did. In a mixture of poor paneling from the artist and poor placement of word bubbles, it is sometimes hard to figure out which bit of dialogue should be read first, and their sense of spacing and overlap is ridiculously bad.
The part that kills The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl the most, however, is certainly its art. This is a comic that could be at least moderately enjoyable if a decent artist was assigned to it that could take advantage of all the cheesecake opportunities of Dana running around naked or close to it. Grievously, David Beauchene is not an ideal candidate for such a job. This is Beauchene first published comic, and the man could certainly use a few more years training before he gets another. Admittedly he has his moments where a certain face or pose is drawn acceptably well, but most of his sketches just look like they were drawn by a 12-year old anime fan on DeviantArt (not meaning to offend the many great artists that do use DeviantArt). His anatomy is very basic when not crap, his drawings lack detail, there is almost nothing in the way of backgrounds, and, as I said before, his paneling is downright confusing when he breaks from a grid. Antarctic Press has never been particularly known for its brilliant comic art, but Beauchene helps bring them to a new low. I truly hate to be so critical of the artist, but trust me when I say this is me being nice about what he’s drawn. Robby Bevard’s coloring at least makes the backgrounds a little less empty looking, but even there his work is slightly above flats. One thing I do want to also note on the art is that it is pixilated! You can notably see many large pixels in dozens of the panels, and some of the panels even look like they were warped in MS Paint. Antarctic Press has put some cool comics out in the past, and I truly wish they had a higher standard for what they published so comics like this didn’t give them a poor reputation.
The Rating Bit
It’s saddening to admit, but The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl is a dreadfully bad comic in just 1-issue, and yet some retailers will have to suffer through having ordered the next 2-issues. The art is bad, the humor is juvenile (and not in a fun, Kevin Smith kind of way), and the story just doesn’t read well. The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl earns a rather miserable 2 out of 10, with its only redemption existing in a few funny, yet unrelated, jokes and an entertaining foreword. Amazingly, for reasons I don’t understand, The Adventures of a Comic Con Girl is also currently running a Kickstarter campaign for the remaining third issue. If you wish to support this book, please feel free to have a look and donate to them.
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