Adventure Time is a big deal, didn’t you know? Not only are the kids lapping it up, teenagers and adults are also getting in on the action. The, ahem, unique series is a successful show on Cartoon Network and every single one of the comics has sold out and enjoyed successful reprint runs. There’s no doubt about it, we’ve gone gaga over Finn and Jake et al. But why, isn’t it just a comic adaption of a daft cartoon? In a word, no, it’s not. Here’s why I’m an Adventure Time fan, and why you (and your younger siblings) should be too.
I don’t know about you, but I have some horrific titles on my pull list. Not horrifically bad, of course, but titles that contain pretty graphic content. Titles like The Walking Dead turn my stomach and pack a heavy emotional punch – just look at the Govenor and the horrific acts he’s carried out, issue after issue. They’re brilliantly intricate stories but, on some level, they depress the hell out of me. There’s a lot to be said for a bit of light relief. It’s why I read titles like Hawkeye and especially why the wacky world of Adventure Time appeals to me so much.
Despite what The Daily Mail tells you, some of us young ‘uns just want some good clean fun. That’s where Adventure Time comes in. That isn’t to say that it lacks substance or wit – infact, its wacky brand of humour appears effortless – but it’s targeted towards children and, because of that, it exists solely to be fun. So while I trudge about my day-to-day life – which, to my disappointment, does not exclusively consist of activities that I consider to be fun – I source forms of entertainment that bring a smile to my face and that lift a bit of that weight from my shoulders. Anything that causes you to laugh like a child is worth pursuing in your down time.
I warn you now, it’s addictive. Like crack, but not illegal or detrimental to your health (I told you, good clean fun) – but in the sense that’s virtually impossible to read a single comic or watch “just one more” episode. Instead you’re spending your spare change on back issues of ‘Marceline and the Scream Queens’ and staying up all night with your eyes glued to Netflix. You dance about your kitchen making bacon pancakes (bacon pan-caaaaakes) and you respond to everything with the ever-so-catchy phrase, “Oh my glob”.
Enter #11, the latest installment of the ‘Adventure Time’ comic assault, which is out today. Within the opening few pages, it has already picked up on young people’s greatest loves; vampires, video games and junk food. It doesn’t stop there and, before you know it, we’re in an 8-bit world with Finn, Jake and Marceline – minus the zombie-like eyes that are usually accompany several hours of intensive game-playing. The premise of this video game? Entitled ‘Super Guts Punch 3’, the gang is trapped inside a prince’s throat and have to punch their way out. Hence the, you know, gut punching.
However, when they finally switch off their game, BMO – their walking, talking games console – doesn’t look so good. Infact, he heads straight towards the coffee pot, babbling incoherently and looking decidedly worse-for-wear. There’s only one explanation: BMO’s been hacked. In true Adventure Time fashion, Jake was too busy choking on his own saliva to give the appropriate dramatic reaction worthy of a comic panel. Naturally, Finn delivers the news again so that Jake can act accordingly.
The issue comes complete with back-up story by Zack Giallogno, entitled ‘The Meaning of Bravery’. If I wanted to over-analyse, I’d say that the idea of battling monsters is a visual representation of battling your own inner-demons. I don’t, however, so let’s just say that the back-up story is about a brave female warrior (insert Bravest Warrior plug here!) that stands up to some pretty gruesome-looking monsters. You go, girl.
Creative team Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb have done a fantastic job of capturing the craziness and the humour of the series onto the page. They let their imaginations run wild with them and their mixture of creative freedom and unbelievable characters has produced great results. Adventure Time comics translate just as well as, if not better than, the televised cartoon.
Adventure Time #11 is out now, courtesy of Boom! comics. As always, your friendly neighbourhood FPI has you covered – visit us online at our main webstore, our comics issues site, our digital comics portal or ‘IRL’ at these locations.