A Branch of the GiggleBerry Bush

May 3, 2022


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Frost’s famous poem probably omitted a few stanzas. I doubt the traveler’s road diverged merely once during their journey. So what happens when things don’t go as expected? Is it possible to get back on the right path, if that ever existed. In Twig # 1, new from Image Comics, destiny is in the series star’s hands, in physical form no less. But will Twig realize that it’s possible to hold more than one person’s fate in your hands based upon your actions.

Twig # 1 (of 5)

Image Comics

Written By: Skottie Young
Drawn by: Kyle Strahm
Coloring by: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Lettering,Logo & Series Design by: Nate Piekos of Blambot

The adventure in Twig # 1 begins with a frenzied pace. Much like the White Rabbit of Wonderland, Twig, who reminds me of 626 minus the razor teeth with a sprout cap on top, is late for a very important job. But rather than making this a tense moment, Skottie Young establishes a childish, playful nature early for the series. And since the only way to make an adventure memorable is to do it with a friend, Young gives the main character a partner in the form of Splat. Splat, a yellow slug-like creature steals the scenes with some funny little zingers. There is also some stoic wisdom in the conversations Splat has with Twig. This comic uses even this small creature to remind us you don’t have to be what they expect of you.

Twig Int

The reason for the rush is because Twig has a new job, which was actually his father’s. Hurrying to the edge of a cliff he meets with Mount Guphin before jumping into the mountains mouth for his first day on the job. This animated world feels so full of life it reinforces how easily we overlook things in our rush. It’s even more amazing that the creatures of the world work inside this mountain, in an almost symbiotic relationship. See within the Mount a team of Miners work to retrieve a valuable commodity. It is now Twig’s job as the new Placeling to carry this item to the Pathsayer.

This issue would be lost without the tremendous artwork. Kyle Strahm crafts creatures and a world like a wedding. Some things seem old and borrowed while others feel so new. Not to mention the main character who is blue. The ability to speak “with a look” will make you fall in love with Twig immediately. Whether it is excitement or tension you can tell it all from the look on the character’s face. In the course of 32 pages this opening issue brushes past a variety of human (or whatever Twig is) emotions. There is pain of loss, hope coupled with anxiety and anticipation and even regret. Despite the usual appearance Kyle Strahm maintains a humanistic level of behaviors with Twig, who is also the only character with two visible eyes.

The ability to use the art lets this comic leave text boxes behind. Twig is a dialogue light adventure, with zero narration. This limits what we learn in comparison to other stories but leaves so much to discover visually. A two page panel full of exceptional coloring from Jean-Francois Beaulieu shows Twig, and Splat, treading along a path over a diverse landscape. An image of Twig resting on the back of a lizard while the plates on it’s back illuminate the night sky is a wondrous site.

Within each magnificently illustrated panel readers get a wonderful look at what beauties await Twig, and maybe even us, on the Quest. Opening with a sunrise, Issue # 1 of Twig seems like someone saying today is the first day of the rest of your life. But both parts of this new job are someone else’s. Maybe Twig will see that eventually the way you’re going leads on to the way you want to go.

Score: 9.63


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