Nothing is quite as much fun as a new, heretofore unseen comic book anthology… Your Major Spoilers review of Sun Bakery #1 awaits!
Previously in Sun Bakery: Introducing Sun Bakery: a one-man Shonen Jump-esque comics anthology from Sharknife creator, Corey Lewis. Each 48 page issue is jam-packed with robo space adventure, paranormal skateboarding, breakdancing, and social swordplay. This landmark first issue debuts four new stories: “Dream Skills,” “Arem,” “Bat Rider,” and “Freeze.”
IN THE JAPANESE STYLE
So, the first thing I thought when I heard about this comic was Elvis, maybe enjoying a nice pastry.
The second thing I thought was “Why are all the creators I follow on social media talking about it?”
The answer to the second is simple: Sun Bakery starts off fast, with a story that is a clear and loving homage to the Metroid video game, taking us through a day in the life of Arem Lightstorm, who travels the galaxy in a powerful armored suit in pursuit of the perfect snaps, which she then will post to her Nextigram account. The art is a crude, energetic and perfect, and the coloring is blue-and-violet tones all the way through, making for lovely pages. “Dream Skills” is the second story, set in a world where guns are suddenly obsolete, and the people of Geo City have once again taken up the sword (with many modern touches, such as Wi-Fi and built-in lighters.) It’s told as a conversation between two young women, Xasha and Puff, with hints of a much larger story building in the background. “Bat Rider” tells the tale of a young man with a sentient skateboard, and is all action with a cliffhanger ending. The final story is a bonus strip that manages to be sexy and terrifying all at once, and also to throw aside any pretense of being a book for kids, which I’m honestly sort of fine with…
WILD, INVENTIVE AND EXUBERANT
This book reminds me of the independent comics I grew up with in the 1980s, an era that took the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to stardom, and features a unique and talented voice. The book is sorta narrated by Bulb, who looks like a computer help icon popup, and remarks that he’s tired of people wanting him to help fix their laptops. Reyyy’s art is fascinating on every page, delivering motion and energy, but never ignoring the humanity of its subjects. (A scene where Xasha pulls out a gun to prove to Puff that they don’t work anymore is wonderfully expressive, and Puff’s expression sells the fear of her mortality. What I enjoy most about the book is that it understands what to explain and what not to, allowing the reader to make some connections themselves, but providing the context where necessary. All the dialogue is fun, as well, and a moment where Arem seems to be about to die comes with a cry of “No wai!”, perfect for a story about classic video games mixed with modern social media.
THE BOTTOM LINE: MY GOD, BUT I LOVE THIS!
In short, this book is a reminder of why I love comics: Not just cool corporate characters, not just high-profile super-artists, not just the major motion pictures they inspire. Corey Lewis has a unique voice, a deceptively simple looking art style, but most of all an understanding of how to make a series of static images with words stuck on ’em grab the reader and make them hold on for all they’re worth. Sun Bakery #1 comes highly recommended, and you need to sit down and digest it all as each story provides something different, but they’re all energetic, entertaining and above all, fun, leaving the book with a dead solid 5 out of 5 stars overall. I haven’t had a first issue grab my imagination with this sort of intensity in a long time, and you owe it to yourself to see if it works for you, too…