Review – b.b. free #2 (Boom! Box)

Music in the Swamp in b.b. free #2

The last issue introduced us to the world that b.b. has grown up into. Living in a swamp, she somehow managed to find music that speaks to her soul. And in b.b. free #2, she’s starting to move towards making that her whole life.

Powers and puberty seem to go hand and hand in the world of comic books. And yet, this is not your ordinary coming-of-age tale. B.b. free is a dynamic and compelling series about a girl who desperately wants to find herself. And she wants to be free to love the music that is her life.

b.b. has only just learned about her powers, and thus she knows less than nothing about them. So far, all she knows is that she once produced a blindingly bright light. And that her father’s anger triggered it for the first time. The rest of the series is set up to explore that power alongside her unique nature and desires.

Writing

b.b. free #2 is perhaps the most charming issue I’ve read in quite some time. B.b. is somebody who knew what she wanted in life – she only had to get the courage to seek it out. But this whole power thing has thrown her through a loop.

This combination has made for a compelling series so far. The atmosphere in the series thus far is part of the reason why it is so unique. But we can’t ignore b.b. and Chulita’s vibrant natures either.

Gabby Rivera’s way of writing is so human. B.b. feels like a real person, in spite of her powers. That makes everything that happens around her feel so much more important because it’s impossible not to care for her wellbeing.

This issue does raise and address several questions. All while weaving in even more concerns and subplots. I honestly have no clue where this series is going to lead in the long run, and I couldn’t be more excited about that fact. And there’s no way I’m the only fan feeling that way.

Art

Do you remember all of the vibrant artwork present in the first issue? Well, it’s back again for b.b. free #2! There’s just something so endearing about this whole art style. Everything from the way the characters are drawn to the color palette of the series feels so light and yet so welcoming. It’s really perfect for the plot when you think about it.

Royal Dunlap was the lead artist for this issue. They’re the ones responsible for those characters we love so much and for many of the other details that make the series thus far. Their expressions are endearing, and the sense of movement is engaging.

Then there’s that color palette! The series bounces back and forth between several dominant colors, all of which alter the tone of each panel. Kieran Quigley, Sarah Stern, and Jeremy Lawson all worked on the colors together, and it shows.

Finally, there’s the lettering. Jim Campbell was the letterer for this issue, and you can see his style here. The lettering is a bit smaller, trying to take up as little space as possible. But the sound effects don’t have that fear. The combination is intriguing, but also the right balance.

Conclusion

b.b. free #2 was another unique and fascinating read from this series. It’s a charming read, one that gives us a glimpse into the life of Chulita while also building up other elements along the way. It almost felt like this issue spent most of its time setting up for something else, which should make the next issue fairly dramatic.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

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