Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review - Here We Go

"Here we go!"

Anthologies offer a look at some up and coming talent. Some boast multiple writers and artists, while others like boast a single writer and multiple artists. Here We Go is an example of the latter. Here We Go is comprised of the following short stories, all written by Jesse Young: "Here We Go" illustrated by Anwar Madrigal and lettered by Thomas Mauer, "Forbidden Love" illustrated by Artyom Trakhanov and lettered by Mauer, "The Silver Street Boys" is illustrated by Brent Schnoonover, colored by Robert Snyder and Schnoonover and lettered by Mauer, "The Daring Adventures of Android Jones - Part 1 & 2 illustrated by Ryan Cody and lettered by Mauer, "Uncle Buck" is illustrated and lettered by Matt Battaglia, "Ex Occultus" illustrated by Joanna Estep, colored by Paulina Ganucheau and lettered by Deron Bennett, "He's Heating Up" illustrated by Michael Odom, colored by Ganucheau and lettered by Mauer and "The Devil You Know" illustrated by Jason Copland and lettered by Mauer.

"Here We Go" is a drive to the first day at a new school a mother and her son take an adventure beyond imagination. "Forbidden Love" is a western inspired by the folk classic "Long Black Veil," where a man's silence gets him more than he bargained for. "The Silver Street Boys" is about a group of intrepid young reporters seeking out the science-fiction story. "The Daring Adventures of Android Jones - Part 1" takes place while surveying an alien planet, Android Jones and his trusty robot sidekick PIP get themselves in a bit of jam after a "misunderstanding" with the local alien race. "Uncle Buck" is about a man defending his family's innocence.

"Ex Occultus" is about Wakefield and Hollander, sent to a temple in Greece to retrieve the fabled Sword of Peleus, a sword rumored to always make whoever yields it victorious in battle. What should be an easy mission turns into something more when they discover what is guarding the temple. In "The Daring Adventures of Android Jones - Part 2," Jones finds himself captive by an alien race who intend to sacrifice him to the planet's most fearsome creature. With PIP only available from a distance, Jones is on his own to make his daring escape. "He's Heating Up" is about love for the game of basketball. And in "The Devil You Know," after a heist goes south, the crew goes on the run from their employer, the one man you never want to cross.

Here We Go is an anthology and as such, there's a loose thread relating all the stories. In this case, that thread is Young writing all the stories, with some of them tapping into what is likely personal "Here We Go" and "He's Heating Up"). "Here We Go" especially seems to be very personal, taking a very poignant turn when contrasted against the joy of driving to school. The two Android Jones stories, "The Silver Street Boys" and "Ex Occultus" are a bit more on the adventurous side, offering characters who get right into the thick of it for the sake of a good story. "Long Black Veil" and "The Devil You Know" are a bit more on the dark side, with both stories delving deep into the darker corners of human interactions. The stories are all very short, but they manage to move along at a pretty snappy pace. The dialogue is concise as well, clearly giving readers insight into the stories as they're read.

The art style varies pretty largely from story to story. "Here We Go" takes a very lighthearted approach to convey the relationship between a mother and her son, further emphasized by a soft blue mixed with sharp blacks. Trakhanov's work in "Forbidden Love" relies on a few primary colors to showcase the range of emotions expressed by the characters. The characters in the Android Jones stories boast strong lines and a very cartoonish look. "Uncle Buck" features art that's very gritty and dark, which is appropriate for the subject matter. Estep's work in "Ex Occultus" is very refined in a way, with Ganucheau's colors offering a great contrast between characters and settings. Copland's work in "The Devil You Know" is simple, with harsh marks and vague details amplified by a black and white look. Finally, "He's Heating Up" feels colorful and effectively captures the wonder and imagination in being a big-name player.

Here We Go is an interesting collection of short stories that moves along very quickly. Each story stands on its own and tackles a different topic, keeping things fresh and varied. Young's stories range from simple to complex and offer a lot of entertainment value for various reasons. The art is very different from story to story, but all of it is very solid for an anthology. Here We Go is worth checking out if you're looking for a new anthology that presents some great new artists and a talented writer. Here We Go recently finished its Kickstarter and should be hitting book form soon.


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