Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review - Abigail and the Snowman #1

"Go...away. Just...go away. G'wan. Shoo."

What's the expected reaction to encountering a snowman? If it's winter, you might want to throw some more snow his way. If it's any other season, you might want to help him find the nearest freezer as fast as possible. Regardless, the encounter will likely be memorable, as it is for Abigail in Abigail and the Snowman #1 from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written and illustrated by Roger Langridge and colored by Fred Stressing.

Abigail is a nine-year-old girl with a huge imagination who moves to a small town where she’s the new kid at school, struggling to make friends. All that changes when she meets a Yeti named Claude who has escaped a top-secret government facility. Abigail and Claude become the best of friends, but to make sure he can truly be free from the “Shadow Men” chasing him, they must go on an adventure to find Claude’s real home.

The premise is certainly simple enough, but that's part of what makes Abigail and the Snowman #1 so charming. Langridge succeeds exceptionally well by tapping into the fire of a child's imagination and what happens when it's used as a means of escape. Abigail comes from a single-parent home that moves her around quite frequently, which makes it extremely difficult to settle in one place where she can find friends who share things in common with her. Langridge's introduction of Claude as a seemingly imaginary companion who turns out to be real is fantastic, as it breathes an air of impishness into the story. The Shadow Men chasing Claude are clearly up to no good, but they're presented in a way that's less menacing and more bumbling.

Abigail and the Snowman #1 is definitely aimed more towards the younger crowds and Langridge ensures the art reflects that sentiment. The characters and panel layouts all boast a Sunday comics feel to them, helping to reinforce the notion that this is a rather silly book at its heart. And even Claude manages to comes across as a large snowman without being thoroughly intimidating to readers. Stressing's colors pop off the page and offer vibrant contrasts within the panels, showcasing Abigail's world. The panel layouts are pretty standard, but there is one gorgeous, full-page spread where Abigail first encounters Claude that really showcases how the two characters are so different.

Abigail and the Snowman #1 is very lighthearted in tone, but its message bears a lot of heart. Abigail is going through many of the same struggles that any kid goes through; struggles that are exacerbated by moving around so much and stumbling upon a giant snowman named Claude. Langridge's story is enjoyable to read and offers a lot of humor in its delivery of a more poignant story. His art is equally as spirited with cartoonish sensibilities that reminds the reader fun can still be found despite life's challenges. Abigail and the Snowman #1 is a fun first issue that promises to be zany at times and relatively deep at other times.

Abigail and the Snowman #1 is in stores now with interiors below.


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