Review: Welcome to Showside #1

I’m not usually a fan of worlds and stories in which the characters mostly just hang out and express their quirks. Stuff like Adventure Time and dozens of stories it’s inspired, just aren’t for me. I like weird stuff and even stuff that’s weird for the sake of being weird, but for whatever reason I’ve never latched on to Adventure Time “stuff”… until now. Welcome to Showside is for fans of the aforementioned franchise and stories in the same vein. But it’s also for people like me that haven’t found a story to really like and dig into. The big difference for me is where the story opens… with another story. It’s a Romeo and Juliet style of story about two warriors from different kingdoms being forced to fight, but still finding time to love. The story pulls out and we find our main character Kit telling the story to his two friends.

From there they hang out, get food and eventually find out about a portal that’s opened nearby. The trio go to the portal to fight whatever invading creature comes through, but difficulties occur forcing them to think outside the box. I will say that video games help save the day which I enjoyed.

WelcometoShowsideAdmittedly the character’s hangout for a bit and don’t do anything and then use their quirks to defeat the monster put before them. For once though, I liked it. I liked the self-awareness of the comic. I liked when the trio asked the monster to hold on so that they could prepare to kick its ass rather than being beaten instantly.

Maybe it’s just Ian McGinty’s writing and presentation that does it for me. The way that he keeps the story focused and moving while still being fun and quirky. Kit and his friends come across as genuine friends which adds to the believability to the story. It also helped that Kit’s friends weren’t annoying. There had a bit of stereotypes going for them, but it worked and added to the entertainment rather than detracting.

There’s three artists on the book. McGinty handles the main art duties, but the opening story is actually handled by S.M. Vidaurri while the backup story is handled by Carey Pietsch. The backstory gave the book a format that’s been incredibly successful for BOOM! Studios, but unlike BOOM!, McGinty and company deliver a full issue and a backstory. The art overall was very good. I enjoyed all three styles. The world is cute, but then aesthetically enjoyable as well. Sometimes in quirky stories like this the world is just too much. The world of Showside felt real and actually fun to visit.

I never thought that Welcome to Showside would be for me. Hell, I didn’t even think it would end up being that good, but after reading it… it is. The story is well put together and enjoyable for a wide range of readers both in maturity and age. If you follow my reviews hopefully it will mean something to you when I say that I found this book to not only be enjoyable, but actually pretty damn good.

Score: 4/5

Welcome to Showside #1 Writer: Ian McGinty Artists: Ian McGinty, S.M. Vidaurri, Carey Pietsch Publisher: Z2 Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/28/15 Format: Ongoing; Print