In Review: The Lollipop Kids #2

The origin of the group is given and a new character introduced in this highly entertaining book.

The cover: Only a small child, hiding behind his mother’s leg, seems to be able to see the tentacled horror that’s emerging from a hot dog cart in Central Park. The orange skinned creature has an enormous eye, larger than that of an adult’s head. It’s wrapping one tentacle around the cart’s umbrella and the people around it talk, eat, and continue on their way. Neat, creepy cover from Robert Hack that teases the monsters that exist in this series. I really like the colors on this as well, with it almost looking like paint or watercolors. Very cool. Overall grade: A

The story: Last issue Nick met the Lollipop Kids after they saved him from a werewolf. He tells the group he thinks their name is funny, which doesn’t endear him to them. Upset at the attitude they’re giving him, and wanting to find his missing older sister Mia as soon as possible, Nick walks off, but not before Fresno tells him he’s a Legacy. This doesn’t mean anything to him, so he continues on his search of Central Park. On his own, he spies a horse and carriage go by. This wouldn’t be unusual if it didn’t look as though it came out of the nineteenth century. Walking under a bridge he spies more unusual things: massive deer, flying creatures, beasts in the grass, and a gigantic tentacle in the distance. ‘…either I got a contact high walking through the meadow…or those Lollipop Kids are waxing truth,’ he thinks to himself. Adam and Aidan Glass’s second installment reveals a little more of Nick’s backstory and why he’s so devoted to his sister, but the highpoint is Nick meeting a new supporting character that practically steals the book. This character’s name is Expo and he’s fantastic. Everything this character says is gold and had me constantly laughing. In addition to Expo, Nick meets up with Fresno, one of the Lollipop Kids. She fills him, and the reader, in on the history of the Lollipop Kids and it’s outstanding. I loved the history of the group, justifying their existence today and what their purpose is. The intrusion on Page 17 is great and the calm response to it by two of the characters is funny. I admit to being surprised by the last two pages as the writers have Nick do something that seems contrary to the series. The cliffhanger is a good one and will leave readers of all ages on the edge of their seats. Overall grade: A

The art: Diego Yapur’s art was good last issue, but the story this time really allows him to shine and he outdoes his previous efforts. All of the Kids, including Nick, look sensational. I loved the details in all of their faces, but those with freckles won me over every time they appeared. The first two pages consists of the Kids and Nick talking and Yapur really moves the point of view around well to make this quick dialogue sequence visually engaging. The double-paged spread of 4 and 5 shows what Nick spies after emerging from under a bridge and it shows several creatures. What makes it interesting is that the beasts can be seen, but not clearly, as if there’s a haze over what he’s now able to recognize. This makes the reader strain to see these monsters, which is exactly what Nick has to do; a very clever bit of storytelling through art. The action of Nick on the following page looks realistic and is very exciting. The flashback page excellently shows the protagonist’s earlier days and why he loves his sister, with that last panel making me cheer. The full-paged splash on 9 is perfection: showing Expo clearly and how he sizes up to Nick. The design of Expo is great and I love that his head is bigger than his body. When this character raised his fist it got a good laugh out of me. Page 13 is also a full-paged splash and it is deliciously ominous. I often wonder if artists use silhouettes as shortcuts in drawing, but they are absolutely necessary for where the characters are going. I loved the final panel on Page 18, which has me wondering if there could be a Rough Riders crossover in the future with this series…The expression of the character in the penultimate panel on 19 is outstanding. The last panel of the issue contains a good fright that looks as though it escaped from a Robert Kirkman book. Great visual ending! Overall grade: A

The colors: This book is set at night in Central Park. It’s dark. Because of this, everything should be darkly colored, but I’m really impressed with how colorist DC Alonso keeps everything bright. Each of the kids’ faces stands out on the page. And these characters aren’t getting blanket coloring to make them pop in the dark, every kid has shading in their skin to make them incredibly real. Since Nick gets the most face time in the book (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help writing that), he looks the most realistic. The close-ups of him are colored perfectly. The blue that dominates Pages 4 and 5 comes off as magical and absolutely wrong. The flashback is given a lot of bronze to age the tale visually for the reader. I like that throughout the book Nick’s narration boxes are colored yellow to make them easily noticed by the reader. I also like that Expo’s dialogue balloons have their own unique colors that make this character’s speech pop. The crimson in the last panel will stick in every reader’s mind until the next issue comes out. Overall grade: A

The letters: Sensational Sal Cipriano creates this issue text which includes scene settings, dialogue, narration, sounds, the story’s title, yells, Expo’s unique speech, and the tease for next issue. There are so many different fonts in this issue, the lettering becomes a key component of each panel’s visuals. I like the scene settings that state the location or date of a scene. They look unlike any other I’ve seen in any other book. The yells come in different sizes and fonts so that the reader may better differentiate them. And speaking of differentiation, I really appreciate that Nick’s narration is a different font from character’s dialogue; it’s rare to see a letterer doing so, but it just makes a book look all the better. I also need to also give a shout out to Expo’s dialogue, which makes him completely stand apart from other speakers. Overall grade: A+

The final line: The origin of the group is given and a new character introduced in this highly entertaining book. The premise is fantastic, lending itself to several possible stories, and the characters are very enjoyable. This is perfect for younger readers and older ones who remember what it was like to be young and adventurous. Recommended. Overall grade: A

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Lollipop-Kids-2/digital-comic/720567?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the cover visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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