Early Review: Byte-Sized #1
Cullen Bunn, master of science-fiction storytelling, brings his talents to a Christmas story in Byte-Sized #1. The first issue of this four-part series from AWA Upshot is due to hit stands on December 9th. Every kid looks forward to opening presents on Christmas morning. On this particular Christmas morning, siblings Katy and Ben are in for a surprise bigger than whatever Santa Claus is planning to bring them. A group of robots possessing artificial intelligence had escaped from a government research facility and has found their way beneath Katy and Ben’s Christmas tree.
A sense of mystery bubbles beneath the surface of the entire first issue, culminating in an exciting cliffhanger. Bunn does a great job of setting up the story while keeping the robots’ intended purpose and full capabilities unknown. The combination of the magic of Christmas, the innocence of children, and the mysterious agenda of the robots make for a very compelling start to this limited series. I would have liked to see a little more happen in this first issue as several scenes seemed to drag. More panels were dedicated to certain events in the story than seemed necessary. Out of all the characters in this issue Gizmo, the family’s dog, stood out the most by far. Gizmo drives the second half of the plot forward and is adorable while doing it. In my opinion, one thing that would have improved on the story is if the entire thing was told/drawn from the perspectives of Gizmo and the robots. Those panels where this was the case were the strongest in the entire issue.
Nelson Blake II’s artwork fits the story of Byte Sized #1 perfectly. His style makes the characters look realistic while always capturing the tone conveyed by Bunn’s script. Even locales as mundane as a truck stop or a laundry room are brought to life by Blake’s artwork. He does a great job of rendering expressive faces, especially the characters’ eyes. Each character’s eyes are vibrant and perfectly capture the emotions that character is feeling in any given scene. Colorist Snakebite Cortez ups the ante on Blake’s illustrations with an expert use of shading, adding depth to the character designs. Every panel in this first issue, even the ones where people are just standing around talking, has a dynamic look and feel to it because of the art team’s collaboration.
In Byte-Sized #1 Cullen Bunn once again showcases his talent for blending genres. This first issue has horror and sci-fi elements, all wrapped up in a Christmas bow. The last few pages left me legitimately excited to see where the story will go from here. The art team breathe life into Bunn’s script and give each panel a unique look. Plus, you can’t go wrong with cute doggie action! Get in the holiday spirit and pick up your copy of Byte-Sized #1 when it hits shops on December 9th.
Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Nelson Blake II
Color: Snakebite Cortez Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
AWA Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review