Overview

Jingle Belle #1 (of 4)

Review

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Jingle Belle #1 (of 4)

Credits

  • Words: Paul Dini
  • Art: Jose Garibaldi & Stephanie Gladden
  • Inks: Jose Garibaldi & Stephanie Gladden
  • Colors: Jose Garibaldi & Lucas Marangon
  • Story Title: A Very Special Jingle Belle Special & Nibble, Nibble
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 24, 2004

Renowned writer and producer Paul Dini takes his creator-owned series Jingle Belle to the mainstream just in time for the holiday season.

In the first of two stories in this comic book, Jingle Belle becomes frustrated at the world’s refusal to believe that she is true the daughter of Santa Claus. Her jolly, old father suggests his daughter should do something in the Christmas spirit. Rather than perform an act of kindness, however, the mischievous Jingle Belle decides to create her own Holiday television special. In the back-up story, Jingle’s equally mischievous friend, the Halloween Witch Polly Green, teaches her Greedy family a lesson.

Paul Dini can just plain write. Whether it be television or comics, the man is a creative genius. That genius shines through once again with the start of this newest Jingle Belle series. As with his last comics outing, Harley & Ivy, Dini blends all-ages fun with satire of the entertainment industry. In Jingle Belle, he has created a character with great humorous potential. She is quite clearly not what readers expect Santa Claus’s daughter to be like, as she frequently ends up needing to be bailed out of prison. Despite her misbehavior, Dini keeps Jingle as likeable, by keeping her largely harmless and even naive. Dini’s writing, in general, relies on clever and fun ideas to keep readers entertained. With this issue, however, he uses satire to deliver his fair share of sidesplitting laughs to go along with those ideas.

The second story is more typical of Dini’s body of work, the type of story that would make an excellent Saturday morning cartoon. Dini clearly establishes a protagonist and group of antagonists. That protagonist is a young witch named Polly Green who, while she may not be as interesting as Jingle Belle, is certainly a very likable character. This story is strengthened by continued ideas and sub-plots from the first story. While "Nibble, Nibble" probably won’t make you laugh too hard, Dini gives this story a creative and fun ending that will leave a smile on your face.

Both stories’ artists do a very admirable job of conveying Dini’s story. The artist on "A Very Special Jingle Belle Special," Jose Garibaldi, has been a favorite of mine with his black and white work in the small press, thanks to his sleek, stylized art. Here he colors his own work and the result is absolutely stunning. Not only does Garibaldi’s style suit the book’s playful tone, but his vibrant colors also amplify that tone nicely. Stephanie Gladden brings a slightly less stylized look, but it is still very successful. Her storytelling is very clean and her character designs are nearly flawless. Each artist is able to match Dini’s brilliant script with equally impressive artwork.

In the end, this book delivered just what it was supposed to. Paul Dini and company gave readers a fun, seasonal story. I enjoyed this book so much that I will be tracking down the old Jingle Belle graphic novels from Oni, and I suggest that you do the same. Jingle Belle is pure Christmas fun.

-Eliot Johnson

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