River Deep Fountain High is a wonderful new issuance (and great song reference) fron writer Bill Melis and illustrator Bee Bop. Immensely enjoyable, the story flows easily and immediately from the first panel to the last, with characters that practically jump off of the page.
The artwork is deceivingly simple, but these characters are anything but. Indeed, the characters have obvious depth: from the main character of Valeria who appears withdrawn at first until her friends are threatened and she becomes a one woman wrecking crew, to Valeria’s anti-social lesbian friend (who’s name has not yet been revealed), to the Green Man Lodge scientists/bounty hunters who want to capture Ana, Valeria’s friend who has the surprising ability to grow to exponential heights. These are characters who are anything but one dimensional, and, promisingly, there appears to be plenty of grist for future stories developing each of them further.
Mr. Melis does an excellent job with pacing, keeping the story continuously moving and light, avoiding the heaviness that often befalls other comics centred on adolescents. This is not to say that the story does not focus on real issues, rather it demonstrates how great a job Melis has done of never over-emphasising any one topic in order to keep the story fun and enjoyable. Furthermore, the dialogue is humorous and engaging, never overly complex.
Bee Bop also does a great job of illustrating the story. As mentioned above, the artwork appears simple and the story is mostly in black and white, however Bee Bop adds colour in specific places in order to add emphasis and push the plot along.
In the end, I felt that this issue was highly enjoyable and a great portent of good things to come. I look forward to the next issue and my next opportunity to learn about these characters even more.