Digital Ash 1/16/14: Blastosaurus Go!

A comic review article by: Daniel Elkin, Jason Sacks

Digital Ash

Blastosaurus: Welcome to Freak Out City Part One

(Richard Fairgray / Terry Jones / Tara Black)
4 stars

Mutant Dinosaurs! Robots! Time Travel! Action! Gore! Science! Jokes! Annoying Kids! You get all this and more in New Zealand writer Richard Fairgray's Blastosaurus: Welcome to Freak Out City Part One. It's a club sandwich of comics, it's got layers, man, layers.

Blastosaurus

The story revolves around a mutated triceratops who, I gather, is trying to save us from a gang of mutated raptors, an evil corporation, and a future dominated by robots. That, and along the way avenge the brutal murder of his mother. It's an origin tale as much as it is an introduction to all the aspects of the larger story line, and it moves and it grooves through introductions, characterizations, and narrative time slips. There's a lot going on in this first issue. As Blastosaurus says, “ya gotta pay attention cos it gets complicated.

Blastosaurus is an all-ages title as much as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was an all-ages title, but it has got some unique quirks that make it stand out, the time-travel aspect of the narration being the most interesting. This first issue is told simultaneously in the past, present, and future. Fairgray does a remarkable job of keeping his reader fixed through these time changes with his coloring – the future is notably gray, as one would expect it to be in a world ruled by robots, while the past is full of lush and plump greens and browns. For the present, interestingly, Fairgray goes beige adding a soft familiarity to the comforts of home.

Blastosaurus

While focused on the heroic story-line of the Blastosaurus character himself, Fairgray and Jones also seem to be enamored with their side characters. From the pathos of the time-traveling scientist who's partially responsible for the ensuing tragedy, to the interactions between the wise-cracking and irritatingly cute kids who are bound to play an important role in this book, each one of these characters is alive, full, and realized. Though painted in broad strokes, there is a certain level of detail work in their portrayals that add a third dimension to their easily flat cliches.

Blastosaurus

By creating the fully realized worlds of past, present, and future, and populating it with actual people (be they human or mutated dinosaur), Fairgray and Jones have set a fictional stage full of fantastic possibilities through which we can easily maneuver.

So while crime-fighting, time-traveling, mutated dinosaurs may not be the most original story being published right now (the fact that I've just written that opens up a rather startling realization, now that I think about it), Fairgray and Jones bring a personal touch to this tale; they know when to caress, when to tickle, and when to punch.

You can get Blastosaurus #1 on Comixology here.

- Daniel Elkin


Teen Titans Go! #3

(Sholly Fisch / Lea Hernandez)

4 stars

While Blastosaurus is all earth tones, Teen Titans Go! #3 is all bright primary colors. This joyful porting of the hysterical Cartoon Network TV series to digital comics form is a hilarious and ridiculous digital story for readers of all ages, full of sight gags and humor that young consumers will get but with insider jokes that their geeky parents will appreciate too.
Teen Titans Go! #3
 
This is outrageous overcaffeinated fun, bubble gum for the head, and exactly what you want from a comic like this. As the issue begins, the Titans (Starfire, Robin, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy) are watching the cheesy reality show Jump City's Got Your Talent Right Here! Happy alien Starfire signs the team up to appear on the next week's broadcast, where they'll compete to win the competition. Of course all the teammates react differently - downbeat Raven is appalled, as you might expect, while Beast Boy and Cyborg can't wait to go on. The funniest reaction is Robin's, who resists the ideas until Starfire bats her big anime-style eyes and summons lovebirds to persuade him to change his mind.
Teen Titans Go! #3
 
 
The team goes on the show, in which the panel has several surprise commentators (the Simon Cowell tyoe judge is hysterical) and where they encounter the Brotherhood of Evil, whose nefarious plans this time seem to be that they just want to win this competition over the Titans. Hijinks inevitably ensue, and the whole wacky tale leads to an ending that still makes me smile to think about it.
 
Lea Hernandez is obviously having a huge amount of fun creating the art for this adventure, exaggerating the right moments, and delivering characters that are on-model for the animated series but also reflect her own look on them. She takes full advantage of the digital format to deliver gags with the ideal rhythm to make the jokes funnier and make it feel more like the cartoon. And Sholly Fisch's take on this action is tone-on perfect, with everyone acting the way they should and the events cascading in a seemingly unstoppable torrent until the end.
Teen Titans Go! #3
 
As a fan of the Teen Titans Go! show I loved this book, but you don't need to be a fan to enjoy this fun sugary confection.
 
Of course Teen Titans Go! is available on Comixology.
 
- Jason Sacks

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