The following review was a collaboration between writing interns Clara and Lily.
The Spark is the new Sci-fi comic magazine from Fair Spark Books and is available right now to the public! It is a fun series of comic tales introduced by the recurring character Springsworth the robot butler. This was an exciting approach to introducing kids to comics in the form of a monthly magazine based around three brief action/adventure stories.
The first comic, Shadows, (written and illustrated by Arron Rackley), is a thriller adventure filled with twists, turns, and an abundance of action. The story revolves around a band of six ragtag crew members on a rescue ship who must complete their mission to answer a distress beacon. When no life forms are detected at the base of the beacon, the team decides to further investigate the base. When they discover a recording of Captain Hiroshi, the team senses that something is amiss and must continue to explore… but at what cost?
As artists, we believe that the illustrations of a comic may be as important – if not more – than the story itself. Dan Harris, the artist of Shadows, used a more simplistic style to match with the two-dimensional characters and straightforward dialogue. The plot overall was not super complex but would be entertaining to the younger audience.
Gallant and Amos: The Cosmic Quiz (created by Rob Barnes) is the second comic in The Spark, and focuses on two goofball characters who begin with a quest through space, but are forced into a completely different comedy filled journey. It follows an interesting plot that narrates the comedic duo as they travel through their new mystery quest. Of the three, this story offered the most developed plot structure but it is still created and written for the young reader.
The illustrations in this comic present a unique art style similar to that of a newspaper comic strip that you may have read as a kid, or Hanna-Barbera art from classic cartoons like Huckleberry Hound. It offers fun cartoon characters that appeal to beginner level readers and would be a great comic for those just starting to get involved in the world of pop culture.
The third comic in the first issue of this magazine is the John Baton Chronicles (written by Arron Rackley). John, a space captain, must go up against evil villains with his crew to save himself and the universe.
This tale took a different approach to storytelling and drops the reader right in the middle of the narrative. If you are looking for an action comic to read to the kids, this would be the one! Since this appeals to a younger audience, John Baton Chronicles may be great to read to kids before bed, or as a little story to pass the time.
There was not much to talk about when it came to the characters, but, when reading this from the point of view of a parent or child, it offers a fun, easy way to experience interesting action stories that a younger audience could comprehend, and enjoy.
Mike Dabrowski provides art for John Baton Chronicles unlike anything we have ever seen before. It is very stylized and offers a variety of character designs that use the same color scheme of exaggerated primary colors. The colors paired with the characters make for a very interesting comic that younger audiences will enjoy.The Spark offers a new outlet for kids who are interested in exploring comics and getting a feel for the world of pop culture. It seems the story structure is specifically designed for the emergent reader and could appeal to a new audience. There are four categories that we will be rating this comic on: writing, art, cover, and uniqueness. We rated this comic with a total score of 8, and it is available now!