Imaginary Friends GN
Reviewed by R. Krauss
Created and Written by: Jason M. Burns
Illustrated by: Dustin Evans
Cover by: Josh Howardi
Layouts by: Kei White
Lettering by: Nick Deschenes & Kei White
Published by: Outlaw Entertainment
Specs: 6-3/4" x 10-1/4", perfect binding, FC, glossy
What if the imaginary friends of your childhood were not only real, but organized? That's the premise behind Jason Burns and Dustin Evans' recent graphic novel. As the story opens the International Imaginary Persons Bureau (IIPB) gathers its finest band of talent to stop Shift Valentine from destroying their world and ours. Valentine, a rouge imaginary person, has secured the means to solidify in the real world. Once there in flesh and blood he plans world domination and likely the destruction of the imaginary one. The IIPB assigns Rex Montana to lead a team of five of the best imaginary people ever to stop Valentine before he can cross over.
Burns dreamed up the idea for the story about five years ago. It was his first concept for a comic story and he made several revisions over the years on its journey into print. Originally he conceived it as a more adult yarn, but the years softened his approach. Good thing, a story about imaginary friends seems a natural for an all-ages audience.
Burns is a good writer. He starts with a clever concept, devises a solid plot, adds some interesting characters, and writes good dialogue. It's an entertaining fantasy/adventure story with a humorous edge.
Evans artwork is just the right mix of realism and cartoons for the story. The characters are goofy enough to be funny, but realistic enough to convey the appropriate drama when the script requires it. The black gutters between the panels help establish the book's overall somber sensibility. The imaginary friends of childhood may be bubbly, anthropomorphic glimmers of light, but their home world is a darker place filled with shadowy corners and muted colors.
If you're tired of the usual superhero fare, but still want some adventure and fantasy in your comic reading, Imaginary Friends might be just the ticket you're looking for.
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Name: Richard Krauss
Been reading comics: since I started reading Marvel comics in Junior High School.
Review Bio: After several years I discovered titles like Zap and Bijou at a headshop and was seduced by the freedom and variety they offered. When the new-wave comix era sprouted from the seeds of the undergrounds, I quickly joined the ranks of other struggling cartoonists with phenomenally low print runs. After almost a decade of small press comix, I retired and made a solemn vow never to return. Several years later the Internet happened and over time many of my favorite new-wave cartoonists got online. The bug bit again and I started exploring the new crop of small press cartoonists. Today's explosion of small press comics is more exciting than any time I've ever seen.
Favorites: Papercutter, Not My Small Diary, Slam Bang, Comic Eye, stuff from Main Enterprises and Weird Muse, to name a few.
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