Written & Illustrated by: Mia Goodwin
Let me start by saying, I’ve not read a comic book in over 15 years. What the hell am I doing here on GWW reviewing comics? I’ve no clue aside from GWW’s invitation to write for this comic section. So what the hell! Let’s see if I can like comics again.
Truth be told, I never stopped liking comic books, just fell away from the media and especially, friends that are avid readers.
So with not reading comics for so long, it didn’t feel right to jump in the middle of a series. I really wanted to find something brand new. Thanks to Action Lab Comics and creator Mia Goodwin got that chance with her new series
It’s a story about a devoted, lovable, yet tad grumpy grandpa who has to endure his zany family and the obstacles he faces just to watch the damn ball game!
Well, that is part of it, but certainly not the key story line.
Tomboy is about Addison Brody. A once vibrant and blissfully oblivious 16 year old living in a world full of warm earth tones, and pink pastels with her childlike enthusiasm. She’s geeky; perhaps a bit of an Otaku, obsessed with the magical girl anime “Princess Cherry Cherry.” Her world quickly becomes blue, dark and cold at the news of her best friend being murdered and a truly heavy tale starts to unfold from panel to panel. Reality becomes blurred for Addison as grief, and anger overcome her.
Issue #1 starts off mid story setting up the darkness and bloodiness right on the first panel. You see the effect that Nick’s (the best friend) murder has on Addison. She’s cold, serious, distant and damaged. It’s at this crucial point, deep into the story that the comic flashes back to before everything goes to hell. We see Addison as at this moment in her life where her biggest concern was birthday presents and breakfast. There is a bigger, sinister story shrouded in mystery at play that gets her best friend, Nick killed. Her world comes crashing down, losing her youthful optimism in the shock and horror of losing her BFF. (I can’t believe I wrote “BFF” but it’s in regard to teenager, so I think it’s an apt description).
The story is richly atmospheric, deep and emotional giving a good sense of personality to every character with a stark distinction of light and dark. It is visually juxtaposed with environmental color temperatures giving weight to the dark story and the vibrance of Addison being a happy go lucky teenager. The art style itself seems to be in contention with the brooding, violent nature of the story. It’s happy, bubbly and cartoony thrown into murderous mayhem. It’s fantastic. So along with a solid script that is, at times, hilarious and heart breaking, we get strong character development that’s complimented by Mia’s artwork. This is a setting that clearly depicts the gravity of a spirited girl turned killer.
Didn’t I mention that? I mean it seems obvious and without spoiling too much of this first issue, the blood all over Addison’s face and clothing didn’t get there by itself.
Absolutely, without hesitation, read Tomboy #1. I cannot wait to read episode #2 even for my own enjoyment. Mia Goodwin is a talented storyteller and an amazing illustrator. The amount of detail in her world (grandpa’s sweater alone!) is, again, fantastic. The physical gestures and facial expressions frame by frame, makes the story that much more compelling and the life that she breathes into each character is remarkable. Whether she did this on purpose or not, the art in this series feels conflicting. The cartoon style adds weight to the gruesome story. I’ve not seen such expressive and stylish illustrations in a comic in a long time…but I’ve also not read a comic since 1999. Regardless of my inexperience, it’s objectively true that Mia Goodwin and her series Tomboy stand tall among the comic crowd.
According comicbookresouces.com, Tomboy #1 is set for a release of 2000 printed copies. So, if you find it, buy it. If the story and artistic quality stays on course, I have a feeling that this will be a cult favorite years down the line.