Posted October 24, 2013 by Vince Mancuso in Books & Comics
 
 

‘Christopher Brown’ #1 Review

Chris-Brown-Review-Cover
Chris-Brown-Review-Cover

Kevin Thomas’s “Christopher Brown” spins a magical scifi daydream.

The story starts with a king and queen being saved by the dashing Princess Christopher from the evil witch Tamara. Before the final blow, however, reality snaps back pulling the real Christopher out of her created comic book due to her babysitter, Calypso.

The real story of Christopher Brown, or Chris, is that of a young girl from Detroit who’s caught in the aftermath of her parents’ divorce as her father dates a new woman, unsurprisingly named Tamara.

Blow after blow of bad news pushes Chris over the edge, and so she decides to run away.

In a subway station, Chris is caught in a conversation with a complete stranger, Christian. We never learn his intention, however, as the two are intercepted from a piercing light, followed by three characters straight out of Chris’s best dreams: a grizzly man, a well-spoken robotic monkey, and an hotheaded fairy.

Chris passes out from shock and wakes up in the cabin of a sailing ship. The monkey introduces himself as Clockwork, the beast man being Sebastian and the fairy as Michael. These three serve as her honor guard; she is Princess Christopher, recently rescued from “Earth Also,” a parallel Earth from their own where magic has been cut off.

Clockwork explains she was kidnapped as an infant, and it took some time to find her as the crew steps on to the deck of the ship, captained by a very familiar face.

Meanwhile, back in Detroit, Calypso arrives at Chris’s home late to babysit, finding the apartment deserted. This leaves the reader wondering if Chris really is in another world, or lost in her own imagination.

There are many great things I appreciated about this comic. For one, the story. Divorce is a heartbreaking reality, especially for the children involved, and whether or not Chris is really experiencing the start of a magical journey, this story provides the reader a POV in coping with divorce.

Remarkably, Thomas also provides strong art to go along with the story. While some may not entirely enjoy the black-and-white art, I think it works, though I half expected Thomas to pull a “Wizard of Oz” and have the magical Earth play out in color.

That being said, there are a few things I think could be adjusted as the story goes along. For instance, it can slow down a bit. There are some moments where the literary “boom” “kapow” and “kablammy” work in back-to-back-to-back fashion to help the reader feel Chris’s pain.

However, on the next page she’s suddenly in a city train station? I would have liked to seen the journey there; Detroit is one of the hardest places in America due to economic issues. How did a young girl make the decision to run away and make it to the train station okay?

Still, I think Creative Impulse’s “Christopher Brown” will be an exciting read as we follow Chris’s journey. It seems a friendly enough comic for children while still touching on adult topics such as divorce and remarriage. This, in addition to Thomas’s unique art, serves well to provide the start of a new adventure straight out of a child’s daydream.

Chris-Brown-Review2 Chris-Brown-Review3 Chris-Brown-Review4

 

-By Vince Mancuso

Vince Mancuso

 
Vince likes to picture himself in much grander form than he really is, sometimes by talking about himself in third person. In all seriousness, I am a long time writer in a variety of genres, starting in poetry, getting a BA in Creative Nonfiction Literature and now working as an editor for a weekly newspaper. While my style has changed, my love for comics remains the same. While I don't claim to be a know-it-all, I am always willing to share the little bit I do. Outside of comics, I love to lift weights, take walks with my wife Kelly or run with my dog Rhodey; the chances of me being involved in a freakish lab accident are slim, I strive to get a good body the old fashioned way.