Writer/Illustrator: K. Lynn Smith
Publisher: Self published via Kickstarter
WHAT IS IT?
The world’s biggest jerk and a free-spirited hippie travel cross-country to find a way to break a devilish curse.
Think classic buddy road trip stories like Thelma and Louise meets Lucifer.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Thatcher is a jerk and he knows it. He’s the literal worst. His insufferable attitude and penchant for being the most horrible human on the planet finally catches up with him in the form of a curse, which leaves him looking demonic, complete with horns, black eyes, and red skin. While on the run from a group of ruffians, he comes across an artist named Rayne and the two take off into the night in her re-purposed school bus.
Rayne is on a journey of self-discovery and becomes hell-bent (pun intended) on helping Thatcher break free of his curse. The method? Kill ‘em with kindness. She has a hunch that a simple attitude change will help him return to normal. Thatcher is not convinced, but he’s literally got nothing else to do, so he agrees. So, the unexpected duo set off on a journey to discover what it means to truly be human.
Smith is a talented artist with an impressive grasp on expressions and anatomy. The attention to detail in the curve of a lip or tilt of an eyebrow gives life to the characters with vibrancy and realism even against the classic-animation-leaning style.
She has a contagious sense of humor, her clever and quippy writing is backed up with expertly done illustrations and effect lettering. The comic is funny and a delight to read, peppered with quote-worthy one-liners and laugh-out-loud references.
The story is well-paced, with a natural and obvious onward flow of time that adds an authenticity to the relationship between the main characters. The variety of conversational scenes, quick flashbacks, and day/night settings makes the journey (and the companionship) feel believable.
The comic design, in every aspect, is vibrant and bold. The character models and their color palettes are complimentary to their personalities as well as the story itself.
The typical monotony of stagnant background scenes is broken up with interesting patterns and design choices, such as colored dots or repeating words, that help emphasize the tone of the moment.
The font choice and colors are easy to read and are appropriately sized. The text fits well inside of the speech bubbles. Even the sound effects and colored bubbles (used for emphasis) only add to the story and do not distract or pull the reader away from what’s happening.
Both Rayne and Thatcher, while leaning into the demon and angel/good and bad archetypes, do not feel as though they fall into the typical cliches associated with those titles. They break free of those expectations.
The two "heroes" have large personalities, their conversations and tones are lively, cheeky, slightly whimsical and whacky. They are a lovable duo that will easily become a modern classic.
A minor detail that lends itself to the narrative is the changing of clothes and hairstyles to show the movement of time, this is such a small thing that adds to the feeling of progression.
The air of mystery revolving around Thatcher’s curse is shown in small, appropriate amounts. It heightens the curiosity of the situation without revealing too much.
The conversation of Thatcher’s sexuality is handled with tact and appropriate humor, akin to David’s description of pansexuality in Schitt’s Creek. It is treated as something normal and not used as a trope to progress the story.
Toward the end of the volume, there is a lovely “travel montage.” It’s one of the most delightful parts of the comic. The scenery is breathtaking, the flow of the panels gives it a cinematic sense, and it truly feels like a moment pulled straight from a road trip flick.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Features strong language, smoking/drinking, violence, and some suggestive themes. It is not suggested for younger audiences.
There is a wish for some exposition as to whether or not demonic/supernatural occurrences are normal in this world. Some background characters act as though it’s surprising, others do not, so it can be hard to tell (it does not pull anything from the narrative by not expositing this subject further, so this is just personal bias,).
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Witty, funny, and immensely clever, For Goodness’ Sake Vol. 1 is a fun first step to another impressive world crafted by Smith. While the “cursed, bad man comes across a good girl who will save him” story tends to be cliche, it feels rejuvenated and fresh for a modern audience in this tale. The color palettes are stunning, everything from the characters to the backgrounds to minor details all come to life with eye-catching hues and tones.
With an undeniably brilliant set of main characters that are both relatable and lovable, and a story that’s not only funny but engaging, this is a comic you’ll be picking up again and again long after the first read. This first volume works as both a perfect introduction and a satisfying step back into the quirky, colorful works of K. Lynn Smith, so readers both new and familiar will end on a happy, giggly note (alongside the rage that comes with a perfectly gasp-worthy cliffhanger). It’s a fantastic comic; it’s funny, beautifully illustrated, and one of the most entertaining releases in recent years. You simply must go read it.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Theurgy by Midgard
Rooftops and Roommates by Zaanart
Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
Banquet by A. Szabla
The Devil is a Handsome Man by Hellothisisangle
If you like the art:
Plume by K. Lynn Smith
Hope by Dirk Manning and K. Lynn Smith
Bicycle Boy by Jackarais
Long Exposure by Mars
ABOUT THE CREATOR
K. Lynn Smith (@klynntweets) – Cartoonist
She is an award winning writer and illustrator. Her works include Plume, published by Devil’s Due Comics, Hope which was co-created by Dirk Manning, and the Kickstarter supported series For Goodness’ Sake which just successfully funded its third and final volume in April of 2021.
She has an active Patreon, K. Lynn Smith, where she hosts a Discord and posts WIPs (work-in-progress), short stories, and is working on an upcoming Patreon exclusive comic.
She has been teasing a new project through both her social media and Patreon with mentions of writing sessions and character design sheets. Though almost nothing is known about it at the present, her fans are eagerly awaiting it.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
K. Lynn Smith’s Official Website (available in both physical and digital editions)
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All K. Lynn Smith characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright K. Lynn Smith or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED