I love Cartoon Network's miniseries Over The Garden Wall from Pat McHale. My girlfriend and I were drawn in by the imaginative animation and held in by the wonderful story that unfolded about Wirt, Greg and the Unknown. Now, thanks to the fine folks at BOOM!, I can take that journey monthly with the Over The Garden Wall ongoing series!
Jim Campbell, Danielle Burgos, Amalia Levari combine to tell the stories in this #1 issue while Campbell and Cara McGee combine for the art. The book functions much like the show did, in the way it divides into two parts per issue/episode. The difference is, rather than focusing on just the adventures of Greg and Wirt, we get a look at other parts of Dreamland and a piece of it's history. Fear not, we get our dose of Greg AND Jason Funderberker the Frog as well in this well crafted tale.
Campbell has been working colors on Marvel's Spidey title, letters for BOOM's Giant Days and basically every other job in comics, as well as being the original storyboard artist for OTGW. The man is a workhorse and really brings it on his portion of this book combined with Burgos.
The story of Greg chasing his frog only to find himself in the midst of another misadventure in the Unknown is the perfect way to bring us back into this world. Campbell shows the ability to tell his story in the perfect amount of time while not shortchanging the reader on great dialogue and fantastic art.
While fully different stylistically, Cara McGee's art seems to fit the tone and feel of the world of the Unknown perfectly while telling the story of Anna, the Woodsman's daughter. Written by original show writer Levari, this story is emotional, filled with heart and surprisingly touching for the short page count.
Levari and McGee manage to capture Anna's love, frustration, and dedication beautifully.
What stood out to me in a very incredible way was actually the lettering on this book. While many comics will just use stock letters, OTGW uses the lettering to establish tone and mood for each story. A tip of the cap to Campbell on the first story and to Warren Montgomery on the second.
As a bonus, you get a peek at another new book coming from BOOM!'s Kaboom imprint, simply titled Adventure Time Comics. Katie Cook treats us to a fun story and invites you into another part of the Adventure Time world.
OVERALL RATING: 9/10 Rock Facts
Maybe it's my overwhelming love of this world, maybe it's the great art and fast moving story that never lost me for a moment, maybe it's the attention to detail in the lettering. Whatever it was, Over The Garden Wall just made its way onto my pull list each month because I need more from this world and Kaboom seems to have found the right team to bring it.