In a medium filled with cookie-cutter heroes Sweetie breaks the mold.
Who hasn’t tried the “triple flip back drop kick” from atop the living room sofa? I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to how many times I acted out scenes from movies or comics. When you are a child, and seemingly indestructible, you just can’t help yourself.
When we meet Sweetie, or more properly “Maggie”, she’s deep in that phase bouncing around her home reenacting scenes from tv. Her mom and dad are concerned for her safety and really try to convince her to be more careful.
The next time we see her is years later and she’s in a situation that definitely calls for someone with special powers or skills, and she definitely has them. What changed? How did the little girl who was warned not to hurt herself bouncing around the room turn into a “superhero”. I have a few theories. Or at least the seeds of a theory.
On of the coolest things about this book is Sean and Steven’s pacing and storytelling. Back in that sequence where Maggie’s parents remind her to be careful we get a great example of the right way to use foreshadowing. An important detail is shown in style to suggest loss and how memory colors our perception. It was one of the moments that made me love this book.
Sweetie is a fast paced visually engrossing book that doesn’t skimp on actual story. Granted this is a first issue, one where we meet our titular hero and see some rather large changes happen quickly. And to be honest Steven and Sean don’t give us a hell of a lot of explanation to go with those first 24 pages. What they do give us a visually mesmerizing story with unique and intense story telling. Sean Dillon lists American, Japanese, and French cartooning styles as influences and this really holds up. From the graffiti style of the main title to the straight ahead panels that switch to hyper frenetic action sequences, he brings multiple styles and disciplines together for a singular experience.
I could see people attempting to compare this book to Hit Girl. Let me go on the record right here, this book is not Hit Girl. Period. Yes Maggie is a young powerful girl who has the chops to take on tons of bad guys and hardly break a sweat. Yes Maggie wisecracks and mouths off brilliantly. Yes Maggie breaks a lot of bones and does serious damage. I can still, without a doubt, recommend this book to a Grammar school aged comic book reader. Sean and Steven give us a young cool heroine of color who does all the things you wish you could’ve done in middle school. But they do it with class, with style, and it’s obvious there’s a deeper story to come.
I’m so excited to see where Sweetie goes in her next issue. I hope I don’t have too long to wait…
Buy a copy of Sweetie at any convention you can find these guys at, or at their website (http://www.sweetiecomic.com/new-products/sweetie-1) and check out the preview pages we have here and at the site…