Juice Squeezers

Juice Squeezers 4 (April 2014)

Juice Squeezers #4So how does Lapham end the first Juice Squeezers series? Well, but with too much of an eye on the future. He opens up two new story lines in this issue–one out of the blue–and confirms another one will continue.

Otherwise, the issue is good. Well, except when Lapham tugs on the heart strings. He leaves something else open I forgot about. Spending the last two-thirds of this issue setting up for the next series is rather disappointing. The scenes are still well-written, the characters are still strong. The art is phenomenal, particularly a talking heads sequence where one of the kids confronts the teacher who's in charge of the group.

And the first third is awesome. Lapham somehow puts the kids in danger from giant bugs, but the bugs never seem too dangerous. Real death in the comic is unthinkable, something the cast believes too.

The issue mostly works out.

B 

CREDITS

The Great Bug Elevator, Part Four: Bug City; writer and artist, David Lapham; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Jim Gibbons; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Juice Squeezers 3 (March 2014)

297646 20140305123327 largeLapham sets up a perfectly good–by perfectly good, I mean predictable–cliffhanger and doesn’t use it. He doesn’t even use it when he’s building up to the cliffhanger. Instead, he goes with a logical choice. It’s not the most dramatic he could, it’s just the right one to do.

All of Juice Squeezers plays out similarly. Lapham never goes for the big money shot or the most drama. He’s patient with it, patient with how he develops the character relationships and the subplots. He’s restrained. It’s never cheap. Not once.

This issue has huge developments with a new member joining the team, some investigation into gossip about the teacher and one of the kid’s moms, not to mention the romance subplot actually taking off. And Lapham puts all these behind the giant bug plot, which also has some new developments.

Juice Squeezers’s fabulous. Great vibe to the art too.

A 

CREDITS

The Great Bug Elevator, Part Three: Going Down; writer and artist, David Lapham; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Jim Gibbons; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Juice Squeezers 2 (February 2014)

295420 20140207111915 largeOh, look, Lapham includes a cast list with pictures for Juice Squeezers. What an idea, actually giving your readers a reference when you have a lot of characters.

Lapham borrows from Love and Rockets as far dealing with a large cast of similar looking characters. He makes their actions defining, not their appearance, and frequently uses their names to get the reader familiar.

This issue has the team trying to save the old farm–giving the comic a very Hardy Boys retro detail–but the kid on the farm finds them and then finds one of the bugs. Interesting too is how Lapham doesn’t make the bugs scary or evil. It’s all from the team’s perspective, so they don’t scare.

There are the beginnings of a love triangle too and a rather amusing C plot about one of the kid’s paternal heritage.

Finished establishing up the ground situation, Lapham excels.

A 

CREDITS

The Great Bug Elevator, Part Two: The Bug Who Came in from the Cold; writer and artist, David Lapham; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Jim Gibbons; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Juice Squeezers 1 (January 2014)

292256 20140101105941 largeCute David Lapham. Who knew.

For what he doesn’t do originally in Juice Squeezers–and a lot is original, he just has problems with the teenage banter scenes–he mimics. What does he mimic? Love and Rockets. And Lapham does handle the whole teenage romantic comedy angst thing well himself.

The setup’s mind-boggling. Teenagers who hunt down the giant insects plaguing a rural California valley. So it’s a fifties sci-fi movie mixed with Tremors, only too young for the drive-in crowd. Wait a second… Squeezers might even be targeted for young teens. David Lapham doing a comic for twelve year-olds. Man’s got to eat.

There’s a lot of fun, a lot of good characterizations. He never draws the bugs too gross (or even too dangerous) and he generates a very positive vibe. There’s a nice mix of light and dark visuals too. It’s a good comic.

B 

CREDITS

The Great Bug Elevator, Part One: Welcome to the Neighborhood; writer and artist, David Lapham; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Jim Gibbons; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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