Jem and the Holograms: Showtime (Volume 1)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Jem and the Holograms: Showtime (Volume 1)
Kelly Thompson, Sophie Campbell, 2015

New Release! I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review.

Premise: Jerrica Benton and her sisters dream of a music career. An online video contest seems like a great way to make a splash, but first Jerrica will need a way around her stage fright, and then they’ll meet the competition…Collects Jem and the Holograms Issues #1-6

Up front, I need to admit: I never watched Jem as a kid. I knew that there were dolls in shiny outfits, but it wasn’t a show I was ever into. Today, I think I’ve maybe seen at most one episode, watched on Youtube years back when I was curious. I was told the premise at some point.

So unlike many people who are going to read this book, I don’t care about Jem the show.

I love Jem the comic book.

I love the bouncy, sprightly dialogue, the silly situations. I love the good-hearted characters and the fledgling romances. I love that the antagonists can be BOTH over-the-top-ridiculous and complex and interesting.

It’s a wonderful balance between surreality of setting and premise and reality of story and feeling. But most of all I love the art.

Sophie Campbell does an amazing job with bright, beautiful designs that leap off the page. Gravity-defying hairstyles, candy-coated color and imaginative layouts to evoke music. The diversity of body types is wonderful to see, but even more than that I love the kinetic sense to her art. The characters are always moving or leaning or sitting or crouching in a way that says something about the character, the scene, and feels completely reasonable. No talking heads to be found here.

There were a few aspects of the plot/premise that go back to the original show that I found a bit grating, particularly Jerrica’s attempts to keep the true identity of Jem a secret. But overall this was a ridiculous amount of fun.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book

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