The Comic Queen

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Astronaut Elementary 1-7 Review

Astronaut Elementary Mini-comics by Dave Roman

It’s been a long time since I picked up a mini-comic that was so fun that it tickled the kid in me. When Dave Roman’s Astronaut Elementary fell into my hands I was pleasantly surprised.

Astronaut Elementary is a great little collection staring the students of the school. Each eight page issue showcases two students at the school. Their stories stretch to both ends of the spectrum, from a realistic yarn about popularity, to sci-fi tale about a voltron-esque student run robot saving a planet of bunnies from killer birds. Each story is a quick look at a new character and introduces the reader to more of the school and the students’ crazy world.

Roman bills the books as mini-manga and there might not be a more apt description. The way the characters talk is a great example of the manga style. The characters tend to over explain many things or say them in a way that seems translated to English. For example one character says “But I shall attempt to fall into the sleep for I know it is needed for my body to avoid becoming weak.” Certainly there is a much simpler way to say this sentence, but the stories wouldn’t be as fun if the character just said “I need to sleep to save my strength.” This way of over-speaking is the most enjoyable aspect of the books for me and a source of constant amusement.

Roman’s art is also enjoyable. The characters remind me of dolls like the Groovy Girls. They have tiny necks, big heads, and expressive faces. The backgrounds in the book are good as well. Roman packs a lot into the relatively small panels.

I encourage fans of Futurama, One Piece, and Ninja High School to check out Astronaut Elementary. Many of stories are available online at Web Comics Nation. Go take a look.

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