Jeremy Whitley has become one of my auto-buy comic authors, without a doubt. I am still going through his backlog, but I have yet to come across one that I don’t like. So when I saw a copy of the first volume of Rainbow Brite on Netgalley, I immediately went for it. I also have since bought the trade and cannot wait to see where it goes next!
Rainbow Brite Volume 1
Jeremy Whitley and Brittney Williams
Publish Date: July 2019
Read Date: September 2019
Format: comic trade
Genre: fantasy, children
Page Count: 136 pages
Rating: 4.5/5 Moose
Rants, Raves, and Reviews
I have vague memories of Rainbow Brite, the TV series. Not enough to really tell you anything about it. I also vaguely remember being terrified of the movies? It was all slightly before my time, so I mostly just remember the yarn dolls. I knew that Whitley was writing Rainbow Brite, and I was quite interested to see what he can do it with it, especially given his other children’s comics (See Princeless and My Little Pony.) Comics used to be a medium geared towards kids, and I like knowing that there are authors and artists willing to focus on a children audience still. Perhaps this is why I lean towards Whitley’s work?
The first volume of Rainbow Brite is entirely the set up trade. It is perfect if you are like me and either didn’t experience or don’t really remember the series at all. We get a little bit of background on Wisp — she’s a rambunctious child with an overactive imagination that is perfectly in tune with her best friend Willow. Her home life isn’t perfect — we see her heating up dinner and choosing not to wake up an overworked mom. It is a mom who does seem to care about her! Just one that seems to be overworked. Especially in contrast with her best friend’s Willow’s family: both parents are around, super attentive and supportive of the girls’ fantasy world. Even the color pallet of the houses are different — warm and cold.
If you have seen Rainbow Brite, you know the story. Wisp meets Twinkle and is taken to a world that has all of its colors sucked out. Twink believes Wisp is the mythical Rainbow Brite, here to save the world, but Wisp isn’t convince. She knows what kind of kid she is! What I do love is the slight nod to the original — Wisp isn’t THE Rainbow Brite, she’s this generation’s Rainbow Brite. There’s enough to make me laugh, but it isn’t like 90s children’s movies where it goes over kids heads.
Willow is not from the original series (from what I can gather, at least) and I was incredibly bummed that we are introduced to this character only for her to be pushed aside? But it’s because the background needs to be set in order to move into the new arc. Where Willow will definitely be around.
I don’t know the artist Brittany Williams well; I don’t think I’ve read another comic with her involved. That being said, I really liked it. I think the style fits the story and age range well. It’s more cartoony and colorful, which I dig.
In the end, I am here for people supporting comics geared towards kids. I think this comic is perfect for old fans and new ones alike, and I’m excited to see where the next arc goes. Also, there seems to be some confusion on if the comic has been cancelled or not. It looks like right now they’re waiting to see how the trade does, so it’s more on hiatus. I hope it comes back!