Mom/Kid Review: “How I Spent My Summer Invasion, Hide and Eeek”

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WE Comic’s follows up its debut of the all-ages comic “How I Spent My Summer Invasion,” with the first half of a two-parter, “Hide and Eeek.”

Since my daughter, Molly, and I took a look at their debut one shot, we decided to see if writer Patrick Rieger and artist Mark Sean Wilson could keep their momentum going with a two-issue story.

On this second visit to this alien vacation hideaway, “La Galatique,” Tim and Russ have settled happily into their status as intergalactic bellhops, but enter Eleanor, a ‘tween alien-hunter who’s mom just happens to be the town’s Chief of Police. When they come to inspect the hotel, the boys’ lot goes from fun to frantic as they try to keep the guests properly hidden from prying eyes (such as fixing mind rays and breaking up luaus) and maintaining some human dignity in the process. Needless to say, it ain’t easy.

Here’s my two cents as a mom and comic fan:

The pros:

Still exceptionally funny with humor that will both appease the “visuals-happy” young reader set and a some word play that will amuse the seasoned geek.  I’ve actually had a similar “zombies vs. ghosts vs. aliens” exchange with friends.

The addition of new characters in the main story — and many, many new characters in the background — did give me the optimistic impression Rieger and Wilson want to keep building and improving upon their world. Parents appreciate that when their kids ask them to shell out bucks repeatedly for the same comic title.

I’m also a sucker for extras, and the inclusion of a kid-friendly puzzle and little “thank you” letter to readers was a nice touch.

The artwork remains colorful, fun and filled with little details that will inspire readers to go back and look at the pages more closely (I dug the little “tiki alien” hidden among the poolside guests and would like to see a story line featuring him).

The cons:

Not really anything to complain about, as this book gets the job done on being a quick and fun read, but I always tend to nitpick in the design area.

I would have liked to see a clearer, comic font used in the main story text, as this chosen one (forgive me for not knowing what it is) seemed a little too thin, blurry and sometimes hard on the eyes. A simple sans serif like “Legendary” might fit well with the fast-paced nature of the story.

As far as characters, the introduction of Elly as a foil for the boys is great, but I wanted just a comment or mention of the inaugural issue’s plotline (i.e. what might have become of Starlei), just to remind the readers they aren’t leaving any unattended plot holes in the future.

How did this story’s second issue hold up to the first in the eyes of the young reader? Here’s the scoop from Molly Kay Tate, age 10:

I thought it was actually pretty funny, you know, just the way they were trying to do everything at once and it never worked out.

One of my favorite parts was when (Tim) yelled “We’ve got rats coming up the stairs” and this big rat alien said “No Way! Cousin Jethro are you there?” That was sooo hilarious.

I also like the puzzle at the end, too and think they should do that more often.

 The new girl (Eleanor) was a little weird, though. She kinda thought she knew everything and it was sort of annoying.

Also, I like the surprise ending. It makes me want to find out what happens next.

There you have it, two issues in and holding its own among its readership. Good work, boys!

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