Tomboy is one of the best first issues I’ve read all year. I would put it up there with Huck, that’s how much I liked it. This year has seen plenty of first issues. A lot have been great only to followed up by the second issue slump. I really doubt that Tomboy will fall into that trap considering just how damn good it is. The other thing this year has seen a lot of, is the Magic Girl genre. A genre that just a few years ago would never have made the pages of American comic books. Now, there’s enough to really be pleased or disappointed with the material. Believe it or not, but I put Tomboy in the Magic Girl genre and at the top of the list. It’s not the typical MGG book, not like Zodiac Starforce or the genre flipper Power Up. Instead, it’s a mature and dark look at the genre.
The first issue starts at the end of the story which I’m not a big fan of normally. Here though, we know that we’re not going to get back to this point by the end of the issue and instead we need to view it as a tone setter. Because the actual start is bright and happy as we see Addison run down the stairs on her birthday. There’s a family interaction as we see that she lives with her father and grandfather. We also see that she’s obsessed with a cartoon that is also in the magic girl genre. Her father is called away by work, he’s a medical examiner and what he finds at the scene changes the entire nature of the story.
The hard thing about Tomboy is not spoiling it, but giving you enough to want to read it. You may not love the issue as much as I did, but trust me that it’s worth reading. For some of you, you will absolutely love it. Your jaw will drop. Addison receives some shocking news and then happens to overhear a conversation that will change her world even more. The problem is that opening. That opening leads us to believe that there’s something else going on. Something else we just don’t know about yet.
This book is incredible for many reasons. The characters are relatable, believable and fleshed out. Addison and her friends come across as believable teens both in their actions and dialogue. You can see and understand the exact relationship between the different family members. It’s just great character work no matter the scene.
What’s super sneaky is what’s worked into the background of the story. You won’t really notice or care about it until it becomes important and that’s why it’s good. You absorb, but until it’s worked into the main plot it’s just info sitting there, cleverly disguised. And then there’s the opening. Mia Goodwin is hiding something there, but we’ll have to wait and see what it is.
Goodwin also handles all of the art duties as well. Personally I think her style is great and that this is one of the best looking series I’ve seen all year. I dare say it’s Danger Zone/Action Lab’s best book this year as well. The line work is clean, but stylized. It feels like the perfect amalgamation of Japanese and American styles. Here’s the other really crazy comparison I want to make, it reminded me of Tradd Moore’s style. If you listen to the CBMFP (talked about Tomboy on this episode) then you know how much I love Moore’s style.
Goodwin’s coloring also needs a lot of recognition because it’s sets the tone for the entire book. The coloring is fantastic. There’s just as much skill to the coloring as there is to the writing and art. The lighting effects are spot on. There’s an overall dullness to the tones, but it works because it again makes it feel like a mature story just from first glance, but then strangely at home in the Magic Girl genre.
I loved this first issue. It’s been one of my favorites all year and I’ve been dying for others to read it so I could talk about it in full detail. This is an issue you don’t want to miss and yeah I know that it won’t be for everyone, but I think if you give it a chance you’ll either be surprised or really surprised.
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Tomboy #1 Creator: Mia Goodwin Publisher: Danger Zone/Action Lab Price: $3.99 Release Date: 11/18/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital