My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There’s something sort of relentlessly appealing about Gum Girl and it’s something you sort of have to accept. This collection of three short stories, the second in the series (the first being Catastrophe Calling) are very carefully crafted adventures of the titular Gum Girl. Despite my innate difficulties with the concept of somebody being called Gum Girl (surely, but surely it should be Choddy Chick, no? No?), I really enjoyed this.
It’s a vivid, vivacious and intensely bright collection of stories. Watson’s got a lovely sense of character to both his goodies, his baddies and the adults as well (which is quite the achievement in comics this brief). I really love the colours in this as well, the bubblegum candy brights are balanced nicely so that the pages remain eyecatching and yet not off-putting. What’s also interesting is that even in these brief and bright stories, there’s some very clear and strong storytelling. If anything it’s very precise bearing in mind the size of these panels and length of the stories, and it bears some weight to Watson’s abilities.
I could see this working nicely alongside Vern and Lettuce by Sarah McIntyre. Both titles have that sort of funny, nonchalant irreverence and appeal.
There’s an excellent piece here where Watson discusses more about his creative process (though it does include the mildest of spoilers for this series, it’s fascinating).