Review: Regular Show Hydration
Cartoon Network is really showing Nickelodeon up when it comes to animation, nowadays. The latter has Spongebob, sure, but Cartoon Network has stuff like Adventure Time and Regular Show. While I personally have problems with both shows, it’s undoubtable that both are successful, creative, and unique. Both have respective comic book series, and for the summer, Boom! Studios has decided to go against the grain and do a standalone graphic novel, called Regular Show Hydration, written by Rachel Connor and drawn by Tessa Stone. I love that this format was chosen, and it’s a very good read that looks wonderful, bogged down a tad by some troubles typical to Regular Show.
Regular Show is at its best when it’s focusing on slow, down-to-Earth comedy. Mordecai and Rigby are delightfully inadequate losers, and in this comic’s first act, seeing their goofy attempts to cool down is a pure joy. Their small mannerisms, often making a big, passionate deal out of little nonsense, are hilarious. One highlight is when Rigby shuts himself in the fridge and has scary, brain-freeze-fueled visions. It’s all clever and consistently interesting.
Whenever the story takes a turn into a direction with much more action, things are still inventive fun, but the quality drops a bit. Occasionally, the action gets a touch dull, feeling a bit like filler. Still, things are kept ridiculous enough to prompt laughs and particular moments of satisfaction. Seeing a giant water-park-fused-snake-monster terrorizing the town get taken down by a mech-duck and smelly odor is enjoyable in a very obvious way.
The book does a great job of forming this big, dumb, elaborate story and actually making sense of it through some silly backstory. It’s kind of like Hangover I suppose, starting out with a crazy situation and then slowly peeling back the layers and explaining things. At the end, Hydration faithfully retains an aspect of the show that quite bothers me, which is that Mordecai and Rigby are treated too nicely. This comic is filled with ace examples of them being horribly irresponsible and stupid, but it’s still a happy ending for them, allowing them to blissfully continue being so awful. It would be funnier and easier to swallow if they got bummed out every ending, yet still continued making the same mistakes.
The art in Hydration is fantastic, Stone doing a remarkable job. All of the visual quirks of the television show are retained, but it manages to look even better. The layouts are consistently unique, always making the book more exciting to read. The coloring from Fred Stresing, who was aided by Whitney Cogar, is absolutely worth noting, because man, is it excellent. There is a perfectly effective mix of flashy coloring and more mute colors that fits whatever atmosphere the book tries for throughout the read. It’s brought down some by a lack of background art every now and then, but that’s the only noteworthy flaw.
There isn’t any profound musings on life in Regular Show: Hydration, and it’s not really doing anything that anyone else is doing, but it’s impressively done. It’s certainly not without its issues, but it’s worth purchasing. It fills two voids and it fills them well; the comic industry has an all-ages graphic novel that it can be proud of.
Story: Rachel Connor Art: Tessa Stone
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy
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BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review