Review: Wander #1 from @Kevin_Church @Greyallison and @Monkeybrain_Inc – A grad student in
Writer: Kevin Church
Artist: Grace Allison
Short Version: Consistently funny take on the outsider in a fantasy world trope, teleporting a stalled NYU grad student into everyone’s first Dungeons and Dragons game.
Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom #1 from Kevin Church introduces us to Olive Hopkins (natch) a stalled NYU grad student who was working a dead-end job at a coffee shop and trying to figure her life out when she finds herself transported to a sort of indeterminate fantasy world filled with elves, dwarves, wizards that look like Morgan Freeman, and cave trolls (er, orcs).
Olive actually seems to be taking this all with the sort of detached aplomb that only a disaffected child of the 90’s can manage. She seems completely unimpressed by her surroundings, but the whole thing is being played for laughs anyway. The first issue mainly serves to introduce us to Shalwin and Luhwhil, her companions for this adventure. The comedy is solid, with an especially funny bit early with the reveal of why they are after an artifact and some cut-aways later in the book that are framed very well and flow in a very television-show like fashion. The first issue doesn’t really get into the plot much until the last few pages, but I get the feeling that this will be a great book to pick up for the satire and fun banter, but maybe not so much for the epic plot. I enjoyed the book, and I expect people that are fans of fantasy looking for a little wit and some light-hearted jabs at their genre will get some good laughs out of it, too. Grace Allison’s art fits the comic very well. Olive, the elf Shalwin, and a happy lizardman are standouts as particularly well drawn, but there was something that didn’t quite click about the face of the dwarf Luhwhil. The few frames where Allison gets to do more cartoony cut-aways are also very nice and help set the tone for the book.
Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom #1 is a solid first issue with a consistent tone, nice art, and several funny moments. Fans of fantasy worlds who wouldn’t mind getting a comedic view on the genre should take a look. Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom #1 is available from Comixology for $1.99 right now and is 18 pages long. You can also check out the official Monkeybrain page to get a pretty lengthy preview of the issue (covering six of the those pages).