Written, Penciled, Colored, & Lettered by Jimmy Gownley
Published by Renaissance Press
A few things occurred to me this past week or so. One, a large number of the comics I read lately have been pretty dang heavy. Even my “escapist” superhero books are getting all kinds of serious. Hell, my childhood hero is “dead”, bad guys run the Marvel Universe (the “616” one, the “Ultimate” one is getting blasted to kingdom come). I mean, it says a lot about capes and cowl comics when my most jovial read comes from The Secret Six, a book about villains! Two, for a column known as “Four-Color Spotlight”, every entry has been about Black & White books, not that I care, but I should at least get some color into my life. Finally, while on the subject of color, I’ve been slammed with less than good news fairly regularly this past week or so. Now, I’m not looking for sympathy, but I am looking to bring a little joy into my life. Well, $4.99 later I have it. Joy brought on by a one Jimmy Gownley and his bright-eyed creation, Amelia Rules!.
Amelia Rules! reminded me why I fell in love with comics and superheroes in the first place.
Because they’re fun. Yes, comics can and do tell serious stories about serious topics, but dang it, they can also make you grin in childlike glee. Amelia Rules! does this in spades. Young Amelia is a city girl now living in a small town after her parents get a divorce. Once surrounded by the never-ending vibrancy of New York, she now lives with her mom and the perennially “cool Aunt”. At first resistant, Amelia learns she’s going to be in this town for a good long while and she better make the best of it. Enter her new friends, the founding members of G.A.S.P. ( Gathering of Awesome Super Pals). Each kid in G.A.S.P. filling their role in the superhero pantheon. They have the brains, the courage, the power, and the awesomeness to tackle any issue thrown at them. Be it a sneeze of such epic proportions it threatens to engulf the world in mutant mucus, or atomic wedgie wielding bullies from a higher grade. Therein lies the charm of Amelia Rules!. The more trivial the issue; the greater the threat to the globe. Yet, the more adult the event or situation, the easier Amelia and her friends can solve the problem (and are utterly stunned that we grown-ups can’t figure it out).
Amelia Rules! Was the perfect book at the perfect time.
Jimmy’s art is clean and crisp, with the strong simplicity of the best Sunday Funnies. However, when he needs to turn on the detail to illustrate Amelia’s imagination, his skills truly shine. He isn’t afraid to break out of the traditional panel-to-panel format of most comics, his main character is an imaginative child and the book layout reflects that. Finally, as much as I am loathe to compare one artists work to another, I feel it is unavoidable this time out. If you find yourself missing the distilled youthful exuberance of Calvin and Hobbes, then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Amelia Rules!. Good for the young, good for the old, and everyone else in between, Amelia Rules! perked this Geek back up when he needed it the most. She’ll do it for you too!