Adventure Time with Finn and Jake #1

Written by Ryan North and Aaron Renier
Art by Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, and Aaron Renier
24 pages, color
Published by Boom! Studios

I’ve never actually seen an episode of Adventure Time with Jake and Finn, although I’ve always heard that the show is amazingly fun and silly and generally awesome. This perhaps makes me not the target audience for an Adventure Time with Jake and Finn comic, but with folks like Ryan North and Aaron Renier working on the title, I figured it was worth a gander. (Doubly so because all the new printings of this first issue keep selling out at the distributor level.) Turns out? I’m now dying to watch the show.

So far as I can tell, Adventure Time with Jake and Finn is about an adventurer (Finn), his stretchy dog (Jake), and their adventures in places like the Land of Ooo and the Candy Kingdom, where they hang out with characters like Princess Bubblegum, or the evil Ice King. Honestly, I’m pretty sure you don’t need to know anything more than what Ryan North helpfully provides in the first two pages of the comic; he introduces the characters quickly and then immediately plunges us into an adventure involving an evil lich that escapes a bag of holding and then terrorizes the world.

What’s important here is that North keeps Adventure Time with Finn and Jake #1 fast-moving and fun; the book never slows down, and perpetually entertains. It helps that Finn and Jake are always clearly enjoying themselves even in the face of adversity; the Candy Kingdom might be on the edge of being destroyed once and for all, and they’re still gung-ho about stopping the lich from sucking everything into the Bag of Holding and finding a way to stop the evil undead. Their introduction of the Desert Princess (not to be confused with the Dessert Princess, despite being made out of desserts) is fun too, and all in all I feel like I’ve just gotten to the first commercial break on a cartoon that I need to watch more of. It’s silly and entertaining from start to finish, and the art from Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb looks so much like the clips I’ve seen in ads for Adventure Time with Finn and Jake that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that the pair works on the show itself.

There’s also a back-up feature by Aaron Renier, and as a fan of his this was an added draw. It’s a fun little story involving cider making and deliveries, and Renier uses gorgeous painted watercolors over his regular line art for a spectacular looking final product. Like the main feature, Renier shows off whimsy and inventiveness for his short, and it helped me get a feel some more for the overall world of Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, and make me that much more eager to experience more of this comic as well as show.

Adventure Time with Finn and Jake #1 is a huge hit with me, and by the sounds of it, for Boom! Studios too. It’s easy to see why; it’s light-hearted and fun, and best of all it stands on its own even if you’ve never watched the show before. I’ll give the show a try soon, but in the meantime, I definitely will be back for Adventure Time with Finn and Jake #2. (Added bonus: back-up feature by Lucy Knisley!) This is a winner, pure and simple.

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