Wicked Things is a new six-issue series by John Allison and Max Sarin (check out my interview with Allison this Sunday) spinning out of Allison’s universe of characters and series some call the Tackleverse. This series utilizes a character from his webcomic Scary Go Round that also appeared in his much-acclaimed Giant Days series. Though this is a character some may be familiar with, this first issue is a good starting point for those unaware of Allison’s work and who just want a good whodunnit story.
The book opens with 19-year-old Charlotte “Lottie” Grote living with her mother and totally not living her best life. Or so she thinks. Soon she’s whisked off for an awards ceremony for young detectives and getting herself into a bit of trouble as a mystery begins anew. Allison and artist Max Sarin are incredibly gifted at making characters look, act, and feel real in their stories. Charlotte is no different and it’s interesting to see her quirks as you begin to get to know her. There is a layering of detail on the page that’s quite intriguing, from the environment of Charlotte’s bedroom to the level of detail put into a magazine cover or even a gummy bear package. Body language of Charlotte is impeccable too and Sarin’s ability to craft character acting that is fun and vibrant on top of the realism is quite something.
This book does well to layer in detail to keep the detective fan happy. I won’t spoil a thing, but it’s quite clear there are key scenes and small details to keep track of to help follow Charlotte’s journey to find the truth.
Props to color artist Whitney Cogar as well, who captures a vibrant and bright world similar to Giant Days. There are quite a few impressive scenes using light to add realism to the book too like the headlights of a car and in the same scene the shadows cast from it. Cogar does a great job adding volume to the characters stretching their cartoony looks into something even more real.
I had a blast reading Wicked Things and following the quirky and at times funny Charlotte who stumbles into things with impeccable grace. Wicked Things has a cleverness that’s as cheerfully contagious as it is endearing.
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