Overview

Lions, Tigers & Bears #1

Review

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Lions, Tigers & Bears #1

Credits

  • Words: Mike Bullock
  • Art: Jack Lawrence
  • Inks: Jack Lawrence
  • Colors: Jack Lawrence
  • Story Title: Fear & Pride
  • Price: $2.95
  • Release Date: Jan 26, 2005

An all-ages world full of imagination, Lions, Tigers & Bears is the type of book that should give every comic reader hope for the industry.

Joey and his family have just moved to Greenville, away from the security of his tree-house, friends, and particularly his grandmother. His beloved grandma, though, leaves him with one final, magical gift: a set of stuffed animals to protect him as he sleeps. Little does he know how literally, or faithfully, those animals will protect him.

The narrator for this story is a young child. That situation has presented a problem for many writers in the past. In most cases, children come across as either exactly like adults or unbelievably immature. With this book, Mike Bullock has found the perfect middle ground. Joey=s narration flows perfectly throughout the entire book. Bullock further uses that narration in the interest of character building. His relationship with his grandmother, particularly, strikes me as emotionally authentic. With such characterization, readers cannot help but to absolutely adore Joey.

Bullock=s story is rife with fun and, even better, seemingly filled with endless possibilities to extend on the rather vast amount of ideas presented in this debut issue. The pace changes from slow to almost hectic about halfway through the book, but the transition works smoothly. Action bursts onto the scene at a very welcome time, making the book even more fun. The action concludes with a cliffhanger, which is one of several moments where Bullock and company have expertly built a high level of suspense.

When this book was announced, Jack Lawrence was little more than a random industry name to me. As soon as I saw the first preview page, I fell in love with his artwork. The strength from those preview pages continues throughout the story. Lawrence=s art suits this book absolutely wonderfully. Each of his drawings exudes energy and fun, while his character designs fit nicely. Lawrence is not just a pin-up artist either, as his storytelling is quite clear. The colors for this book are the final touch to this incredible artistic experience, as they set the perfect tone every time, be it joyous or dreary.

When I set this comic down, not only was a wide smile on my face, but my mind was racing with possibilities for these wonderful characters. Bullock, Lawrence and company have created an incredibly vibrant world that I cannot wait to delve deeper into.

Lions, Tigers & Bears can be summed up with one word: Imagination.

-Eliot Johnson

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