What time is it? Adventure time! For those of you not familiar with Adventure Time it’s an animated television series aired on Cartoon Network. It’s about a human boy named Finn and his best friend and adoptive brother Jake, a dog with magical powers to change shape and size, who go on quests and adventures in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. It’s an adorable, surrealistic humour series that’s become so popular it’s grown into a huge franchise with merchandise, videogames, and comic books. Seeing Red is one of the many comics that Adventure Time has spawned!
In Seeing Red Marceline the Vampire Queen has to go back home for a family reunion. Normally, she would skip out, but it turns out she left her beloved axe bass behind the last time she was there and her father has decided to get rid of it! With the help of Jake the dog, Marceline travels around the dark and dangerous Nightosphere to try and find her axe and teach her father a much needed lesson about communication!
The author of Seeing Red is Kate Leth and the illustrator is Zack Sterling. Leth is a Canadian comic artist and writer who has been posting comics online since late 2010. She’s known mostly as a web-comic artist but she has published a few anthologies and works for Adventure Time and Braves Warrior. Sterling is an illustrator, designer, and sequential artist based out of Portland. He studied at The Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Art Institute of Portland and has worked for Penguin Young Readers Group, Cartoon Network, and BOOM! Studios. You can find both Leth and Sterling on Tumblr at kateordie.tumblr.com, and zacharyxbinks.tumblr.com respectively.
In Seeing Red the plot follows Jake and Marceline as they search through Marceline’s home land of the Nightosphere for her treasured axe. It was nice to see these two characters together since Jake is so rarely seen without Finn and hardly ever alone with Marceline (since he’s still a little horrified of her being a vampire). The characters do learn lessons–especially Marceline and her father who aren’t always on the best of terms–but there’s precious little character development throughout the piece. It’s not surprising with something as popular as Adventure Time; there doesn’t really need to be in-depth character development–you already know what the characters are like!
The art style in Seeing Red is the standard Adventure Time art style. Yes. It has a standard style. The characters are really minimalistic in facial and body structures and it makes them exceedingly adorable! The characters have noodle-like arms and legs and the style lacks any consistently sharp/straight lines. The landscapes are also minimalistic but that has more to do with where the story’s set than the overall style.
Seeing Red isn’t the best Adventure Time comic I’ve ever read but it was definitely a departure from what I’ve read in the past. Having Marceline and Jake go on their own adventure without anyone else really was a stroke of genius since I’ve yet to see it done before!
My final thoughts on Seeing Red is that it’s a good Adventure Time one-shot comic. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that someone who has never seen Adventure Time before start with this comic, but having even the slightest knowledge of the franchise will allow you to just jump right in! So go for it ‘cause what time is it? Adventure time!