For a while now BOOM! Studios have been plucking talent from innovative web comics and so far it’s worked out pretty spectacularly. Capture Creatures is the newest series with online origins created by the team behind Tiny Kitten Teeth, Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt, also known around the internet as Frank & Becky.
It’s impossible to talk about anything other than the artwork first because the issue looks so distinct. In the past I’ve only been familiar with the team’s work that’s emulated a kind of 1950s retro cartoon look. Meanwhile Capture Creatures #1 looks a lot more modern. It hits right on that exaggerated cartoon look, with big white eyes and curvy round characters. Tracy Liang contributes the colours and her work really bumps up the quality even more. Blending different shades together the comic still looks like a cartoon but it’s far more detailed than similar comics, which often opt for big block colours instead. It’s that extra bit of effort that makes the art easier to lose yourself in.
As for the story, the issue opens by tossing us straight in. All we really learn off the bat is that there’s a town surrounded by a lush coastal landscape, where our young protagonist has ventured out against the rules. As things progress more characters pop up and we begin to get a feel for the world. The whole time the issue is peppered with quick little jokes and an amusing tone, which makes it a very easy going read.
Although the premise of the book boasts cute creatures galore you may be disappointed if that’s the only reason you picked up this issue. Cuteness there is but not until the latter quarter of the book, the plot mainly deals with introducing us to the human cast rather than the cuddly one seen on the cover. However the scenes with the book’s animal star are some of the best and are genuinely funny. The artwork brings heaps of personality to the creature and delivers their mood and temperament in just a single panel, at a glance you know just what that fuzzy face is thinking.
It’s worth mentioning that this first issue is oversized, giving you more than the average comic. It makes use of the extra space nicely and it never feels rushed or like it’s trying to kill time either. They pack plenty of panels onto the page and make especially good use of the limited space for a cartoonish comic. It does end on a bit of a sudden note though which is just a little jarring. It’s not that the comic ends too soon, but more that it feels like it starts the next part of the story too early. I was left wondering if it was originally written to end a few pages earlier and we were actually reading the first part of issue 2. But either way, I did want to know what happened next and it’s hard to complain about getting some extra story
Capture Creatures is part of the KaBOOM! imprint which, for those unaware, is BOOM!’s all-ages line of comics. It perfectly fits in with the other books in the line, which is to say it’s frantic, funny and absolutely fine for kids. Beyond children there’s definitely a market for teens and adults here, particularly anyone that feels nostalgic about Pokemon or Digimon. We’re very early into the story but this feels like the kind of series where friendship and funky looking creatures are the big themes. Surprisingly though there’s more depth to it than one might expect, with hints alluding to the interesting world building that left me wanting to know a bit more about the state of things beyond just the main cast. Which is basically my way of saying that no, it’s not just smiles and cute animals there is a story here too.
Overall Capture Creatures #1 is an entertaining opening issue that looks like it could really take off with kids, while giving anyone looking for a fun, wholesome comic plenty to enjoy too.