Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by female creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. Here‘s a list of all the books featured so far this month.
We continue with Punky Brewster #1 by Joelle Sellner and Lesley Vamos…
I have already spotlighted one of Lion Forge Comics’ new “Roar” line of all-age comics, also written by Sellner, but I would have hated to do this month without spotlighting Vamos’ artwork, so while I am trying to avoid covering any single writer or artist twice, Sellner gets the nod twice!
While Sellner’s Saved by the Bell adaptation was a very soft reboot, Punky Brewster gets a bit more of a reboot. Punky is still a little girl abandoned by her mother, with only her pet dog, Brandon, as her companion. However, the original concept for the series was that Punky breaks into a vacant apartment in a building run by a man in his late 50s named Henry Warnimont. Henry ends up taking Punky in and eventually adopts her.
In this series, Sellner pulls a New 52 on Henry and de-ages him considerably (while still making him as stuffy as ever!) while also adding in the twist that he is actually Punky’s distant cousin!
Fenster Hall, the local orphanage and its chief boys counselor, Mike, were characters on the original series but Sellner makes Fenster Hall a bigger focus of this first issue.
All in all, I liked Sellner’s changes. She updated the plot without losing focus of Punky’s characterization.
Vamos, meanwhile, does an excellent job on the artwork. Her work has such an impressive dynamism to it – it is filled with vitality. It is really well done.
Here is a sequence early on when Punky and Brandon try to find some place to sleep…
She does such a fine job with her design of Punky. Perfectly capturing her personality without even attempting to capture Soliel Moon-Frye’s looks (even Brandon gets a total makeover).
Here is Henry’s introduction…
This was a very good first issue for a series that I would imagine would be quite appealing to kids – I think Punky Power translates very well to 2014. You can buy the first issue at Amazon here.
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