I know what you’re thinking: how often am I going to talk about Adventure Time? It’s like I think it’s the best kids show to have come out in the past 20 years and that I’m absolutely heartbroken that it’s coming to an end and holy crap, have you seen the new episodes!? The answer is a lot, so get used to it. Way back a few months ago, I reviewed the initial issue of Adventure Time Comics (not to be confused with Adventure Time which is a similar but separate series that is currently on issue #64), and absolutely fell in love with it. Each issue features a collection of short, grayble-style work handled by different artists and basically just added cute little stories to the very expansive universe. Now at issue #10, the work is just as fun and easily digestible as the first time around and has even opened up its artistic borders to allow for more individual takes on the Adventure Time gang, creating a wholly original work that’s still tethered to the quirkiness of the original source.
Issue #10 features four unique stories that could easily be their very own episodes or at least share an episode. The first tale has Princess Bubblegum hold a fighting tournament with Finn and Jake punching their way through the best of them. But what will they do when they face their final opponent, each other? The second, titled Diamond Monster, features our heroes fighting a, well, a diamond monster that has a seemingly unbreakable build. The third revolves around a hike in the woods early Sunday morning as Finn and Canyon (Billy the Hero’s ex-girlfriend) go on a hike to Billy’s resting place. The last features Princess Bubblegum being approached by a soothsayer who has lost her powers and has lost all hope of recovering them.
As stated, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this comic is the varying art styles. While there is some adherence to the noodle-armed theme that was established in the cartoon, it’s fun to see different artists’ takes on popular characters. It almost reads like a love letter to the series where the creators learned that it’s not imitation that’s the sincerity form of flattery, but being inspired to do your own work with it. Even the cover by Adam Gorham keeps it unique with a human-like Finn (in very tiny shorts) and Jake bursting through the woods looking for adventure. Even the ones that do stay true to the animation style, such as the last short, still maintain a bit of individuality with the shading, lighting, and inking. The whole collection is a fun exploration into the possibilities of the world.
The stories themselves are fun and quick and vary from silly to solemn, much like the cartoon itself. Despite the short format, each writer has a fully formed story that doesn’t seem rushed. Instead it provides actual challenges for the characters to meet and deal with a way that is unique for whoever is starring in that particular short. The speech patterns are also done well, written with the character in mind, creating a wholly immersive work that will appeal to all fans. Anyway, I could go on and on about why the comic is great, but honestly, I suggest picking it up for yourself. It stands out enough to be a one-of-a-kind work but still stays with the original feel of show. Besides, with only a few episodes left of the cartoon, you’re gonna be aching for that Adventure Time fix.