When Comics on the Brain heard about the new independent comic book company called Sitcomics, we got pretty darn excited.
As we understood it, Sitcomics was planning on producing a line of comics that were family-friendly and meant to be read in one sitting.
Wait, let us correct that. Every comic currently being published is “meant to be read in one sitting” — in fact, some comics these days can be finished by the time you’re finished with your bathroom break.
But what Sitcomics wanted to do was to provide an entire story in one issue. Sure, there would be another issue after that, but the goal was that you would actually feel satisfied when you turned to the last page. You’d feel a sense of completion with the story. It would have most of its loose ends tied up by that last panel. The problem is that few comics these days actually do that — stories take seven to twelve issues to finish.
Not so with Sitcomics. They want their readers to get a story with a beginning, middle and end.
For old-time comics fans like the staff at Comics on the Brain, that’s the recipe for sending us to the comic book store.
There we found two options from Sitcomics — Super Suckers No. 1 and Blue Baron No. 1.
Super Suckers is a Betty & Veronica style comic that adds a vampire twist. Blue Baron is a Shazam! style adventure that draws a teenager into superheroing.
We picked up “Blue Baron” No. 1, in part because we were immediately attracted to the Bronze Age-style cover. It wasn’t a pin-up or a painting of the main character — it showed us one of the scenes we’d see insde. Talk about a throwback idea!
The other thing that surprised us was when we picked it up, it was thick and heavy. The comic chocks in at a whopping 64 pages. That page count helps explain how a Sitcomics comic can tell tell a full story in a more-modern storytelling approach. As an added bonus, it had a nice glossy cover and spectacular coloring inside.
Blue Baron No. 1 — The Review
As promised by Sitcomics, Blue Baron No. 1 is a done-in-one comic that covers a significant story in the myth of the Blue Baron, a historic superhero who’s been adventuring since at least the American Revolutionary War.
The story helpfully shows us the status quo of the Blue Baron before tossing it aside for a twist that’s fairly common in comic books. That, of course, doesn’t bother the CotB Staff. We buy comics because we enjoy the staples of the genre after all.
Along the way, we see how the Blue Baron’s life suddenly becomes intertwined with that of a typical suburban family. That provides plenty of light-hearted moments which help it fit its “Primetime Audience” sensibilities.
Likewise, the dialogue pulls you through the story smoothly and keeps moving us from scene to scene.
We also have to take a moment to point out one particular thing we loved about the story. The villains of the piece weren’t vicious murderers or planning on some horrific scheme that would make your skin crawl. Instead, they just wanted to rob a jewelry store! That’s refreshing, and something you rarely see in comics these days.
The art in “Blue Baron” No.1 is handled by veteran Ron Frenz. At first glance, newcomers might be put off by his style — it’s old school, but it’s old school that shows a person with real, enduring talent.
In one page, Frenz shows off his storytelling chops with emotive characterizations annd in the next, he’s delivering great action sequences.
Some people might look at the book and laugh, though. The Blue Baron’s uniform is positively goofy. Don’t let that distract you as you make a decision to buy “Blue Baron.” Instead, take heart in the fact that it’s supposed to silly. It’s the subject of more than a few zingers throughout the book.
As further proof, look at some of the other character designs Frenz offers — Raider, one of the Baron’s teammates, is particularly awesome. Likewise, the villains are generally dressed better than the heroes. We can live with that.
Why You Should Buy ‘Blue Baron’
If you’re looking for a throwback comic, then Sitcomics’ Blue Baron will satisfy that need perfectly. It’s got adventure, humor and superheroics without all the grim tangents that modern comics love to dwell upon. Instead, you’re treated to a classic story with quality art that leaves you satisfied with your purchase, but definitely willing to read more.