Friendship is Deadly in “Tomboy #1” (Review)

Nov 21, 2015

gww-tomboy1-coverTomboy #1
Action Lab Comics

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
“Tomboy.”

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!gww-tomboy1-grandpa

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.

Have you seen this:
The Nice House On The Lake #2 (REVIEW)

gww-tomboy1-color

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.

Author

  • [Narrated by John Cleese] There is a little known fact about Levi Irwin, also known as RetroInactive on twitter and in small villages throughout Taipei: He has never, nor does he ever intend to watch the movie "Grease". This quest to a live life without ever watching this film is steadfast, but might be overtaken by his larger desire to be the best dad ever, and will invariably have to take his daughter to see the film or play upon her earnest and unceasing requests. He prays that day will never come. Aside from his unending avoidance of, as he puts it, “soul killing, awful musicals”, Levi is a devoted husband of 11 years to a lovely, yet very ungeeky wife, and a father of two children, Riley and Giovanni, who you may have seen as the true stars of his RetroInactive Youtube channel with their shows "Ask Riley" and "Back In My Day A-Z" As an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, video producer, musician, chiptune and score composer, hip hop producer (true story), and sometimes writer, Levi enjoys finding new creative outlets. He is constantly in search of new and exciting media to get just good enough to put them on his résumé. Among his geeky pursuits, video games and Star Wars top his list. He loves old toys, Chuck Palahnuik books, games throughout all generations, especially Call of Duty, for him to practice his other passion, shooting stuff. Like, for real. Blowing things up with an actual rifle and he's alarmingly good at it too. He always felt he should have been a hitman. Perhaps it's the Sicilian blood that runs through his veins, or the 80's action movies he watched as a child. Whatever the case, Levi never did pursue life as a mafia assassin, but instead chose a humble life of loving his family, playing video games, and convincing his young children that stealth kills in Far Cry 3 were making the bad guys "take naps". Here on GWW, Levi will be largely covering comic books, a source of geekdom he's not kept up with since the late 90's. So "what the hell" he says and will report on what's new to him and to see if this forgotten love of graphic novels can be rekindled. Twitter: @retroinactive Facebook: Levi Irwin PSN ID: Retro-Inactive Favorite Genre: Adventure (3d & P&C), 2D Platformers, FPS, FPAdventure, Modern RPGs (Mass Effect, Borderlands), Action, Horror Current System of Choice: Playstation 2 & 3 Career Systems Owned: Atari, NES, Gameboy, SNES, Genesis, Playstation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Xbox, DS, PS2, & PS3 Favorite comic series (from when he read them): Uncanny X-Men, Gen 13 (J Scott Campbell’s version), Spawn, Witchblade, Mad Magazine, Spiderman, Civil War, Maus, Frank Miller’s Batman, Grrl Scouts Favorite Comic Artist: Frank Cho Favorite Animes: Neon Genesis, Ninja Scroll, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Gantz, High School of the Dead (except the pervy camera angles…that was gross) Top 5 Favorite Consoles: 5: Playstation 3 4: Sega Genesis 3: Nintendo Entertainment System 2: Super Nintendo 1: Playstion 1 Favorite Bands: Pinback, Radiohead, Boards of Canada, RJD2, Andrew Bird, Mewithoutyou, Mogwai Favorite things to favorite list: Games, bands, albums, consoles, comics, animes, books, squashes

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