Thursday, February 4, 2010

Toy Story #1 Review

Toy Story starts as an ongoing series this week from BOOM! Studios and it seems like a young reader's perfect introduction to the four colour world. It's got familiar characters (because everyone knows Woody and the gang), it's well written and drawn, and it's just gosh darn good old fun.

Toy Story #1
Written by Jesse Blaze Snider
Art by Nathan Watson

The first issue builds on the events of issue #0, which is recapped on the credits page; Andy’s grandmother sends him another Buzz Lightyear which descends into a Buzz-on-Buzz fight. Andy and his mother decide to exchange the new Buzz at the store and they return with another new Space Ranger, Booster. It also appears that, of course, the wrong Buzz has returned home with them.

The issue kicks off with Woody and the gang setting a trap and planning to take their newly hog-tied Buzz back to the Toy Store. Booster isn’t happy about this but he seems pretty damn dumb so he’s tricked into it by Woody who confesses that the Zambonian Mind Worms that have overtaken them will make Rex eat him.

They steal the keys to Andy’s mother’s car and go for a slow spin. When a rookie police officer pulls them over they manage to give him the slip, scare him a little, and steal his squad car. I didn’t mind this sequence, as it would play rather creepily from the cop’s perspective, and I hope he comes back into play in this arc.

Upon arrival at the toy store, Woody and the gang hit the action figure aisle. Here the issue ends with the shelves of Buzz Lightyears popping out of their casings when Booster gives the call for help. This is where the issue impressed me the most and made me think that many people should return for the coming issues.

Every Buzz Lightyear on the stands is different. We get a glimpse of Arctic and Ninja Buzz but then the final splash shows us the epic descent of Buzz’s dressed in alternate versions of scuba, pirate, Green Beret, samurai, bush ranger, and what appears to be a boy wizard costume.

The artwork is dynamic, with all characters looking exactly like their on-screen counterparts and also showing their cloth arms and points of articulation. The writing keeps up with the funnies on pretty much every page and levels the humour at all ages, and there seems to be room for this story to spill out into something more.

I'm impressed to see BOOM! offer this title for the children readers out there, along with The Muppet Show and The Incredibles. They really seem to be finding their own corner on the market and I thank them for that.

Verdict - Check it. It’s an issue that sets up a great little story idea which I would have loved as a little lad, and if I had a 12 year old son I would buy this for him, absolutely. There are not enough fun books for our kids but this one does its best to lift the game for our next generation of readers. In fact, if you do buy this for a little one please let us know what they thought in the comments below.

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Brandon Whaley said...

My little one isn't quite old enough to understand this, but she loves looking at comics with me and I'd really like it if what she was seeing was a bit more age-appropriate. She laughs out loud at Tiny Titans. I'm a huge Toy Story fan myself, so I may pick this up for both of us.

Also, that splash page with all the different Buzz Lightyears is awesome.

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