What age were you when you discovered comics? Was it a comic written for adults or was it one written for kids, even if it was featuring characters initially created for an older audience? While DC Comics is on record saying that they don’t make comics for kids, there are publishers like Dynamite that are interested in making comics for kids and in this case, for girls. Li’l Sonja One-Shot is a fresh take on a character that has seen her depiction go from empowering to embarrassing and of late, back to exemplary again.
In full disclosure, I have considered Joel Carroll a friend for over twenty years, and have always held his talent in high regards. Even if didn’t already know him, I would still love the artwork on this book, and I’m so glad that at the end of the story, there are reproductions of Joel’s uncolored artwork, so you can see that he took pains to adequately focus the reader’s eye where it needed to go and spot his blacks where they needed to go.
My wife looked at a kid’s comic that I bought for our 18 month old daughter to flip through and remarked that it essentially looked like a coloring book, and I’m so happy that this book isn’t illustrated in such a manner. The colorist, Andrew Elder, deftly colors this like a children’s book, never distracting from Joel’s artwork and adding form, lighting, texture and mood to the story. In a story where color is so integral to the plot, Elder carries his weight and practically shows off. If he weren’t so respectful to the artwork, I’d say that he was trying to steal the show, but he isn’t, he’s playing his part and making everyone look good.
I have a young daughter and I plan on holding onto a copy of this book for her to read when she’s older so she can see how comics can be made for girls in a way that’s entertaining, doesn’t insult their intelligence, and doesn’t present them with a role model that is for lack of a better term, slutty.
Good comic, guys. It’s not ofeten that someone makes something that drags me out of my back issues and doesn’t make me mad.