By Joss Whedon & Fábio Moon
With Dave Stewart and Nate Piekos
Published by Dark Horse Comics, August 2007. Free for you, and free for me!
LOUD MUSIC! LOUD MUSIC! STRANGE BUZZING!! “I’m not saying that I’m better than you…. I’m not saying I’m rubber and in no way did I suggest you’re glue” goes the future pop-hit from SUGARSHOCK! a four-piece band hailing from another beyond I would not mind visiting. Joss Whedon is taking off to more otherworldly outfits to get his brand of girl power on and I couldn’t squeal louder. SUGARSHOCK! is his own tweaked take on Jem and the Holograms or Josie and the Pussycats and has genre-mashed its way into my heart. One thing I have come to know about Joss is his passion for music, whether it is Sondheim or slow jams. Born from this love of hard-rockin’ tunes, SUGARSHOCK! is poised to be a release for all the creative energy stifled from the cancellation of Firefly, as this online-only web comic draws the closest, of his recent work, to representing the energy and the wit of the tragically befallen series.
Dandelion, the lead singer of the band, is a precocious and slightly schizophrenic Viking- hater. Her drummer, Wade, is a voluptuous woman of such awesomeness she brings home a groupie from every concert for indiscreet sex and absolutely no talking. L’Lihdra, lead guitarist, looks masculine in her pinstriped suit but has ways of resolving the in fighting with a sensitive touch. Then there is Robot Phil, the robot bassist, who is a robot, and he likes to ride shotgun and not to be threatened. I love these characters in a way I have not loved a group of people since the crew of Serenity. Their personalities are so distinct, and every word that comes out of their mouths are facets of who they are, marvelously specific. The language is a shade too precise, and all of the background details are awkwardly, and hilariously, straightforward. (The winner of the South Fairville Hormer’s Shrimp n Taco Rock Off receives a giant check with BIG CHECK written on it. Hee.)
The gorgeous artwork makes this my favorite single issue to come along based on the art alone. Fábio Moon has a way of making everything loose and flowing with electricity. Whimsical details like Dandelion’s stink-eye projecting a small lightning bolt are funzies. I took a special shine to a cloud of hearts obstructing the view, of which I won’t say anything more. Whedon’s mission is to make us fall in love with yet another amazing ensemble, and SUGARSHOCK! is an unqualified success. All I want is to read more, get to know the group better, and see what’s going to happen next. This is 8 pages of pure joy, man, go read it!