Adventure Time 100 Project
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Review by Jameson Hampton
With Adventure Time slated to end this summer, I’ve been craving as much content about Ooo as I can get my hands on — so it has been great to see all the comics and specials coming out from Boom! The latest one is Adventure Time 100 Project. The “100 Project” format, for those who aren’t already familiar with it, is a signature of the Hero Initiative, a charity that benefits comics creators who need financial support after suffering medical emergencies. Adventure Time Issue #36 featured a unique variant cover, blank other than the book title and a caption that read “Get-a-Sketch!” The Hero Initiative sent a copy to 100 other comics artists — including Sina Grace, Walt Simonson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Emi Lenox, John Cassady, and 95 others! — and invited them to sketch their own cover. Then they compiled all 100 in this trade paperback, which raises money for their organization.
It was really fun going through all those covers and noticing the artistic trends. Of course the main characters were well represented, particularly Finn, Jake, Fionna, and Cake, but there were some particularly creative uses of Jake’s stretchy powers! Marceline was also particularly well represented and there were several references to her iconic songs. I really appreciated that there were a number of covers representing her close relationship with Princess Bubblegum, her semi-canonical ex-girlfriend, which is a relationship that holds particular significance for myself and many fans. Of course, all of the fan favorites made appearances one way or another — BMO, Lumpy Space Princess, Tree Trunks, Flame Princess, Susan Strong, and Ice King (although not Simon, which was disappointing for me).
100 drawings leaves a lot room to cover a lot of ground, but I was a little disappointed at how many of the covers were very similar. Classic depictions of Finn and Jake have a nostalgia factor for a lot of people and the more creative interpretations were very good, but I would have liked to see more minor characters and interesting reimaginings proportionally. Many of the drawings were just sketches, which does make sense based on the prompt, but the drawings with more characters, more color and more elaborate scenes definitely stood out. It also would have been nice to have seen more women’s names on the list!
Ultimately, though, Adventure Time means a lot to me — and to a lot of people! With the series finale drawing ever closer, this is a good time to reflect on the last ten years of the show. It’s really cool to see artists draw characters I love with such care and fondness and know that they genuinely love these characters too. It particularly made me wonder how artists chose to draw more obscure characters like Party God or Shelby’s little brother. What significance do those characters have for them? Even seeing Finn and Jake drawn over and over, in so many different art styles, really drove home how much of an influence Adventure Time has come to have within cartoons and general pop culture.
Verdict: Buy it.
While I do think there was a little missed potential with the variety of art that could have been represented, Adventure Time 100 Project is still a nice little collectors item and a pretty sweet send-off to one of our favorite cartoons. If you’re on the fence, remember that the proceeds from sales of this book go to the Hero Initiative, which is a great organization for giving back to the creators who have provided us so much enjoyment over the years.