Steven Universe Vol. 1: Warp Tour
Creator: Rebecca Sugar
Writer: Melanie Gillman
Artist: Katy Farina
Colorist: Whitney Cogar
Letters: Mike Fiorentino
Cover Art: Missy Peña
Publisher: KaBOOM! Studios
A review by Samantha Pearson
Steven Universe Vol. 1: Warp Tour collects issues #1-4 Steven Universe Ongoing by writer Melanie Gillman and artist Katy Farina. Each story is a different adventure for Steven and the Crystal Gems, with no obvious timeline connecting them together. That makes this run ideal for a first-time reader, because it’s possible to pick up any issue and dive right in with minimal knowledge of the Cartoon Network series’ plot.
That being said, Steven Universe Vol. 1: Warp Tour makes a strong argument for why TPBs are so dang cool. This collection of issues allows you to dive into Steven’s world and snuggle up for a little while, hanging out with him and his loved ones while they rescue baby birds, go to prom, participate in a food truck competition, and explore a renaissance faire. There’s also a cover gallery at the back of the book that showcases the different variants of its collected issues, all of which are stunning renditions of scenes from the series.
Warp Tour features several of the characters from the beloved cartoon. Peridot’s total lack of social graces shines in both the baby bird issue and the renaissance faire issue. Stevonnie — Steven and Connie’s fused form — makes an appearance and accidentally ends up as someone’s date to the prom. Even the mayor of Beach City and his laconic, sarcastic son make an appearance, as Beach City attempts to attract food-loving tourists to the town to build revenue in the off-season. Steven’s bright enthusiasm for everything ties the whole book together, which is par for the course, and it’s a super fun read from beginning to end.
Melanie Gillman’s writing in this series is perfect. The tone fits the overall Steven universe (see what I did there?) that show creator Rebecca Black has so lovingly cultivated since the series first premiered. Gillman utilizes onomatopoeia to great effect and also captures each character’s voice effectively, which makes Warp Tour feel like episodes of the show. Likewise, Katy Farina’s artwork enhances Gillman’s writing but also shines for its perfect line work and beautifully-executed emotional beats. Character expressions are particularly well done, even on background characters.
Whitney Cogar’s colors and Mike Fiorentino’s letters round everything out, bringing this book to life in a big way. It’s funny. It’s sweet. If you’re a Steven Universe fan, you’ll find that it feels authentic and good (at least, I think you will). And if you’re not, Warp Tour might just convert you. But honestly — and I say this as someone who started watching the show this year — if you aren’t already loving Steven Universe, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Buy it! I think this book has something for everyone; it’s a great read for brand new fans as well as seasoned Steven Universe experts. Pick up a copy and enjoy!