Review: Astonishing Adventures #1

Looking at the new release shelf today, I found myself drawn to this title. Why you ask? Well for 1) it’s not from any big comic company and 2) it’s a book about a dad and son adventure. We start out in suburbia with two kids, Harrison and Grace, who are in their backyard playing while their Dad, Parker, is cooking lunch. Their Grandma and Grandpa show up for lunch and ask the kids what they were doing outside. Harrison explains that they are battling Lord Zynismus, who rules the evil part of the universe and that he is trying to take Grace captive.

After lunch Grandpa has a surprise... Parker’s old toys. Upon receiving the toys Parker then hands them off to his son and daughter. There is one toy in particular that catches their eyes, an old teddy bear, Cedrick. It is one of the oldest of the bunch and they learn it kept their Dad safe when he was growing up. Grandma and Grandpa leave while Harrison and Grace head back outside to conquer evil. As Parker is doing the dishes Harrison yells "They took Grace!". Realizing she is missing, they call the police and file a report. After the police leave Harrison expresses that he is so sorry for letting them take Grace. His dad tries to console him and assure him it wasn't his fault. Parker heads to bed to lay down, when Harrison brings him his teddy bear, Cedrick. Just as Parker starts to fall asleep, Cedrick wakes him to explain what's going on.

Astonishing Adventures #1 CoverThe world that the kids imagine is actually real. The reason they are able to see it is because they are open-minded. Most adults aren't able to see the world the kids see because they believe less in fairy tales, myths and legends. The kids see a dragon climbing up the Eiffel tower and spaceships flying down Broadway. Cedrick explains to the kids that they actually protect the adults from the world because they can see what the adults can't. Parker and Cedrick flashback to his room when he was growing up. Cedrick shows him that both he and his other stuffed animals were there to protect him when he was most vulnerable. Parker starts to wake up thinking it's a dream, but he sees that it is real when Harrison busts thru the door with a jet pack and his teddy bear, Go-Go, to go save his sister from Lord Zynismus.

The writing in the book has a good flow to it and for me, the story is relatable. All kids have some great imagination before someone tells them it isn’t real or they are being silly. It also reminds me of the fake adventures a lot of kids have had while growing up. Not to mention all the cool toys you had and played with. This story just keeps moving and doesn’t have any lull. I love this idea and sure, there are other variations out there, but this one is executed well and sets up the story nicely as it moves forward.

The art is in black and white, giving it that newspaper comic feel. Something I did growing up was look over my dad's shoulder to while he read comics in the paper, the book gives me that nostalgic feel and that's one reason I like it. The emotions of the characters are drawn well, down to the tears running down Harrison’s face. I also like how the toys are recognizable, they bring back some memories you may have had playing with them. Sure, some of the art is simple but it tells the story because it's detailed enough to make the characters unique. Cedrick looks pretty badass when he is protecting Parker in his younger years, even in his bowtie.

All and all this book is great and I can’t wait to share it with my son when he gets older. You just can’t find many books like that out there. This is a perfect book for all ages. Pick this book up if you can, but it most likely won’t be in your local shop. Not to worry though, you can find it online at

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Chad Blakely Publisher: Pathetic Aesthetic Comics Price: $2.99