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PLAYGROUND – ATTACK OF THE GURGLEBOTS!!!, VOL. 1 — Review by The Comic Book Yeti

  • Small Press

  • PLAYGROUND – ATTACK OF THE GURGLEBOTS!!!, VOL. 1

    Writer: Adam Rose
    Art: Charles Toefield
    Colors & Letters: Shauna Klebesadel
    Additional Art, Colors & Letters: David Pentland, Trevor A. Smith, Shauna Klebesadel
    Publisher: Markosia

    Playground, Vol. 1 (tpb), cover, Markosia, Rose/Toefield/Pentland/Smith/Klebesadel

    WHAT IS IT?

    An all-ages graphic novel that spotlights going outside, playing childhood games, and eating your vegetables.

    It reads like a wholesome-yet-fun ’90s cartoon.

    WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

    (Minor Spoilers)

    Felix is out trudging around his elementary school’s organic garden and stumbles upon a growing stalk of broccoli. Without knowing this broccoli had gained mysterious meteor powers, he eats it and gains playground-related abilities.

    He uses these to fight against the school principal, who uses candy powers to control and sedate the children. Felix and his friends must stand up to the principal and his army of Gurglebots (snack- and soda-machines that transform into robots) to free all the kids from his clutches.

    WHAT WORKS?

    • As a parent, I love comics my kids can read, especially when they glorify vegetables and getting away from the screen
    • While at first I questioned Felix fighting the principal, I do think it’s important to teach our kids to challenge authority that is corrupt
    • Many indie comics don’t have color, but the bold and bright color inside are perfect for young audiences
    • Rose & Toefield do well creating an approachable all-ages title that can actually resonate with kids
    • From the action-packed, low-dialogue story to the age-appropriate subject matter, it really feels like they understand their audience
    • Robust backmatter includes activity pages for kids, character close-ups, and even a whole other story, called “Hobby Squad”!

    WHAT DOESN’T WORK?

    • The upfront section explains the powers, but I wonder if it’s too dense and copy-heavy for young readers, especially positioned in the front of the comic before the action starts
    • I also worry that kids who haven’t played these games might lack a frame of reference to grasp the powers’ concepts
    • That being said, as an adult and a parent, I liked seeing the “rules” of the world upfront, and feel like I could easily paraphrase for my kids
    • “Rude” humor, like a squirrel peeing on a meteor (shown below) may play well with kids, but sensitive parents may not want their kids reading that
    • It seems like there’s a lot of white space on the pages – I’m not sure if this is a style choice or an issue with the digital file, but it takes away from room that could be spent on more comic
    • A professional letterer could help save some room on the page and cut white space within word balloons
    Playground, Vol. 1 (tpb), Markosia, Rose/Toefield/Pentland/Smith/Klebesadel

    WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

    “Playground – Attack of the Gurglebots!!!” is a solid comic for a younger audience. Fun, funny and wholesome without coming across as boring or out of touch.

    HOW DO I BUY IT?

    Click one of these:

    The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

    All Adam Rose characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Adam Rose or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

About The Author

Matt Ligeti

(AKA "The Comic Book Yeti") believes reviews should be simple and modern, written in a way that's easy for the average person to read. Wanna' know more? Send the Yeti and email at TheComicsYeti@gmail.com or visit ComicBookYeti.com

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