Overview

White Picket Fences: Double Feature (ADVANCE)

Review

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White Picket Fences: Double Feature (ADVANCE)

Credits

  • Words: Matt Anderson & Eric Hutchins
  • Art: Micah Farritor, Brian Mead & Tim Lattie
  • Inks: Micah Farritor, Brian Mead & Tim Lattie
  • Colors: Micah Farritor & Brian Mead
  • Story Title: The History Lesson, Beetle-Mania, & What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up
  • Publisher: Ape Entertainment
  • Price: $6.95
  • Release Date: Apr 23, 2008

In the peaceful town of Greenview only three elementary kids can save the world from Giant Bugs, Wolfmen, Vampires and Mummies. Welcome to White Picket Fences . Tommy, Parker, and Charlie return to protect their town from the B-Movie monsters that plague their otherwise picturesque town.

You hear people bandy about best of the year all the time. Yeah, there were better books than White Picket Fences last year, but no other comic was my favorite. Regardless of what books I had to review or what weekly series demanded my time, when White Picket Fences came out it was the first read. This delightful three issue mini-series of three ingenious kids stopping the war of the worlds was imaginative, retro to the extreme, and just plain clean fun.

It reminded me of being a kid and watching The Goonies, or Invaders from Mars. I am sure there is a younger generation that will be as awestruck when I mention The Iron Giant. These were movies that allowed the kid to be the hero. They showed us that no matter how small, we could all do big things and they set our imaginations on fire. Sure, Indiana Jones was cool and Star Wars was awesome, but these other stories could have starred me.

That is the heart of this graphic novel. Kids are the heroes. With the original creative writer on board, we get varied stories. Matt Anderson’s solo written story seems a little forced, but it gives us so much detail about the world that he and Eric Hutchins have invented that the unnatural feel of the caper is more than sufficiently displaced by good. Eric’s long tale that references Them! and Godzilla is pure gold in every sense and introduces us to a new kid to make our trio a foursome. The combined writing team also gives us a feel of the imagination that the kids truly have and a little insight as to why the kids might have the imaginations they have.

The art provided by series co-creator Micah Farritor is pitch perfect for the book. It is admittedly a bit of an acquired taste, but it is well suited to the charm and feel of the writing. While I remember it being a little off-putting during the first issue, his team up with Anderson here provides the lesser of the two feature stories a familiar tone that along with the rich character development more than compensates for its short comings.

The most accomplished art comes from Brian Mead. His lines in the short between the main attractions of our double feature features a strong line and an ability to convey an epic story in merely a couple of panels. While the tone is a little grown up for the spirit of the book, it is nice to look at and he would be welcome back any time by this reader.

Tim Lattie’s pencils grace the final story and his sketchiness bridges the gap between what Farritor accomplishes in tone and what Mead accomplishes with refined design. Overall, getting to see different artists' perspectives is a grand idea and I hope they try such diversity in the future.

I remember one of the cool things about being a kid was to sit through the credits of a movie to find out if everything had been resolved in the movie or for the announcement of the sequel of the awesome flick I had just rode my bike to the base theater to see. The creative team here uses the last page to announce a new movie and suddenly I am ten years old again and can’t wait to tell Ricky Schroeder (yeah, really that was my best friend's name, but he was a different kid) that there is a new White Picket Fences coming soon!

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