Written by: Gary M. Kenny, CC2K Comics Editor
Remember when 90’s Manga were filled with stories about young women turning into space princesses and fighting the good fight? They had bubbly personalities that weren’t tainted with angst and sarcasm. Creepy Scarlet is a modern take on that fun Japanese/American genre that was successful in the 1990’s while showcasing a story all it’s own.
Creepy Scarlett: Book One (Issues 1-3)
Writer: Graeme Buchan
Pencils/Inks: Felipe Sanhueza
Colors/Letters: Jessica Jimerson
At first glance Creepy Scarlett comes across as a comic mash up of martial arts action flicks meets Tim Burton’s movies meets Sailor Moon. There is silliness, beheadings, pumpkin masks killers, and candy. It’s so quirky that even when I wanted to put it down, I had to turn the next page and continue. It’s a huge mash up of genres, especially with Creepy Scarlett’s rogues gallery. Every villain in Book One mimics something familiar in the comic book world. You have a clown villain (who runs a circus), a mobster business man, a immortal Japanese warrior, a strongman, etc. You see these type of villains more in weekly cartoon shows (which makes it fun) then the more modern comic series. However that’s exactly why Creepy Scarlett is refreshing. It’s a revamp of what worked back in the day. Creepy Scarlett brings back the fun “whatever” aspect in comics; the lets see our hero get out of this one type moments. Nothing too serious but provoking enough to keep the reader interested and familiar enough that any reader could pick this up after book one and follow along.
Creepy Scarlett is introduced as a older teenage girl, who lives alone in a large church or monastery eating only candy to get by while her only companion is a teddy bear named Teddy. A traveler arrives searching for Scarlett’s late adopted father (a priest). Understanding that he traveled for nothing, the traveler leaves only to find Scarlett’s empty grave; he then has a vision. After said vision, he decides to train Scarlett in the ways of a samurai for her to protect a special gem called the Emerald of Lucifer. Everyone is after this gem and so fourth. We discover more about Scarlett in the later chapters but for the most part we gather that Scarlett is quirky, likes candy, can fight, and someone is always out to kill her. Oh and she can’t leave the monastery unless its Halloween. Now, there is a lot of ideas here. Normally when you throw everything and the kitchen sink at something the whole thing falls apart. But Graeme Buchan’s writing is cleaver enough to keep this chaos going. And just when you think there is too much going on for Creepy Scarlett, she also has a hidden super power: think Sonic the Hedgehog when he collects the chaos emeralds.
Felipe Sanhueza’s art direction is very complimenting towards Buchan’s script. It’s quirky and manga infused. It’s sugar coated Saturday morning, especially in issue 3. What is very noticeable about Sanhueza’s work is that every story in this 3 issue book utilizes a different art template. Though the art styles match well, the colors and mood are quite different. Issue one is the basic or welcoming artwork. Telling the story, it’s simple, action packed and well paced. Issue two is more of an origin tale and is told with less colors. Scarlett is younger and their are more blue, grey tones then actual colors. The last issue is just candy candy candy. Each issue also has a different villain and the artwork works well with each bad guy. I believe this would be intentional but I’d need to see more issues first.
Though it’s both crazy and chaotic Creepy Scarlet works well with it’s quirks. Though not as child friendly (because of some bloody scenes) the reader will feel like a kid watching cartoons at 6.30 A.M., eating breakfast before getting ready for school. All in all, Creepy is a pick up for those who dig gothic anime girls who are bubbly and fight the good fight.
3.5 out of 5.0
Gary is a husband, father, fireman, comic reader, gamer, body builder, and rocker. He also is a co-owner of a bakery in upstate NY. He likes to tell everyone his favorite band is the Beatles, when his actual favorite band is the Alkaline Trio.