The teen detective, Lottie Grote, is an integral part of John Allison‘s shared universe, Bobbinsverse. She appeared as a main character in Bad Machinery, a few guest appearances in Giant Days, and is now starring in her own comic, Wicked Things. Wicked Things #1 reunites the Giant Days creative team of Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar. It’s a more genre-centric story of a teen detectives award show that turns into a whodunit of its own.
However, Allison and Sarin take their time building the friendship between Lottie and Claire and showing her fandom for the famous Japanese detective, Miyamoto, and her not-so-thinly veiled disdain for her fellow detectives. Wicked Things #1 gets into the feeling of not caring, but actually caring, which is Lottie’s opinion towards teen detective awards. She doesn’t care if she’s nominated, then has a great, fun trip to the awards show in London, and isn’t present to get her award… for reasons.
Lottie is an exercise in breathtaking (and hilarious) facial expression from artist Max Sarin. She can go from moody, withdrawn teenager (Think Billie Eilish.) to wildly gesticulating across a row of panels when she think she’s been spurned by her idol, Miyamoto. Sarin and colorist Whitney Cogar make her magnetic presence sauntering from cluttered room at her mom’s house to a sunny train trip and the fancy hotel she got put up in for the teen detective awards.
Claire is a great counterbalance to her as her biggest cheerleader while also indulging in some of the hotel’s finer offerings like 18 types of birds. Her acceptance speech on behalf of the missing Lottie is a true study in sincerity. Sarin also gives her the same wide, wholesome eyes that she gave to Daisy back in Giant Days. Even though Lottie might seem burnt out on the whole detective thing, Claire is there to remind her of her passion for clues and capers. We could also use someone to believe us as much as she believes in Lottie. (The events of the last few pages of Wicked Things shed some doubt on this.)
If you like slow burn, character-driven mystery stories with quirky leads, then Wicked Things is the comic for you. The sheer absurdity of a teen detective awards show and convention makes it a showcase for comedy and fashion choices. (Claire rocks the Fleabag jumpsuit.) But, hey, there’s murder too.
Story: John Allison Art: Max Sarin
Colors: Whitney Cogar Letters: Jim Campbell
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review