WELCOME TO SHOWSIDE #1
Story: Ian McGinty
Art: Ian McGinty
Colors: Rian Sygh
Publisher: Z2 Comics
Not many publishers, including the big two, would have the stones to hitch their flagship wagon onto a book aimed at children, but then again Z2 Comics is no ordinary publisher and Welcome To Showside is no ordinary comic book. With Z2 touting the title for months, even beliving in it so much that they’re developing an animated pilot with creator Ian McGinty at the helm. Is Welcome To Showside the lightning in a bottle Z2 hoped it would be?
Welcome To Showside is the story of a place where normal exists alongside the supernatural. We follow a boy named Kit who does what any other kid would do… eat way too many waffle tacos and hang out with his friends tough as nails Belle, a witch named Moon, and squid like companion called Boo. In this first issue Showside comes under attack when a lesser demon enters their releam through a pixel portal. Because this is a kids comic, awful parentling will allow Kit and his friends to take on this monster using a little magic of their own. The end delivers a twist that sets up the series big question.
Narratively, if this is McGinty’s first time out, he doesn’t show any noticeable rookie mistakes. Showside’s characters are unique even from each other. Funny? Check. Quirky? Check? Mischievous? Check.When you can establish reasons to root and care about Kit and his friends naturally through the dialogue it makes getting on board with the series easy and here it lands well. The story itself is very contemporary. References to emojis, gaming, etc give the book an appeal for younger audiences while keeping a low enough barrier for older readers to feel elderly but not be turned off. McGinty doesn’t bow under to being clever, every line of dialogue is used to make you feel something. Nothing is dummed down for kids or stretched for the sake of a joke adults can get. What a novel approach to all-ages right?
When launching a new property, the ascetic is key to its success or failure. Welcome to Showside has a Saturday morning cartoon look and that’s far from a bad thing. The designs for Kit and cast are fantastic. It combines the feel of the old Bobby’s World cartoon with the action of the Powerpuff Girls. We get more setup of our protagonist in the first issue than the setting, but at the pace of the story it’s hardly noticeable.
While Showside’s opening firmly established whose story this would be; I would have liked to have seen a bit more fleshing out of the books supporting cast. With Boo featured on the books cover he hardly got any moments in the issue. It’s something to note for the first issue, but definitely something we expect to be addressed in upcoming chapters.
Welcome to Showside is finally here. It’s too early to say if Z2 have their crown jewel here, but it’s off to a great start with the potential be a thing that brings back the younger generation to comics. With Halloween approaching it’s a perfect title to pick up this week and share with friends, your friend’s kids, but not kids you don’t like. They don’t deserve something this radical.
Incase you haven’t seen it, check out the animated short featuring Henry Rollins as Frank. Yes, mother F’n Black Flag himself. Now I just need Bill Stevenson to cameo as Bassmaster General; a farting ghost.