Writer: Lisa Treece
Artist: Jeremy Treece
WHAT IS IT?
A whimsical horror story starring four tiny friends.
Think Shopkins meets Gravity Falls.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Around a campfire, the deformed fruit Clawberry tells scary stories to her friends, Bookworm, Miggy, and Toey.
After telling a tale that concluded with a masterful joke, the gang begs Clawberry to tell another one, which the strawberry warns them will be extra scary. Their tale does the trick, scaring Toey and causing the group to ask for a nicer story. Little do they know; stories won’t be the only thing terrifying them this evening.
Lisa Treece’s story immediately establishes the main characters as best friends. This can be seen through Clawberry’s clever use of the friends as characters in her spooky story.
Jeremy Treece’s loose lines are extremely adaptable, conveying both whimsical and grotesque scenes. This allows the group of friends to be cute and fun, while certain scenes, especially the pumpkin carving, feel like they ooze off the page.
Muted palettes tinged with blacks and greys permeate each scene and give the book its spooky vibe.
A variety of lettering styles displays Jeremy Treece’s keen eye. Whether it be wavy black balloons at the beginning or the brown caption boxes speckled with smudges in the middle, each complements the art and mood of the story.
The dialogue feels realistic for young characters without being simplistic. They’re all believable and the stories Clawberry tells sound like they come from a kid who’s primarily had fairy tales read to them.
The layout, angles, and details used in the scary scenes offered a great contrast and enhanced their intensity. Treece opts for diagonal panels and extreme close-ups to put everything in the reader’s face to great effect.
One page that depicts Toey being scared is wonderfully designed. The panels have little background allowing the reader to focus on the character, and the large, orange lettering makes the moment feel like it pops out of nowhere.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
The story contains lots of fun interactions between the characters and sets up the tone well, but there’s not a lot of story in this issue, and the inciting incident comes late in the book.
Important information at the beginning is mentioned briefly and isn’t reinforced in the book, so the cause of certain events at the end might be missed by some readers.
Some more contrast in the colors could have made certain moments in the story more impactful. Most of the book stays within the same palette without going much brighter with the colors.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Clawberry takes readers back to when they were young and trying to show off to their friends by telling the scariest story. Despite being scared, they all want more stories and it is truly touching to see these young characters having fun. The dialogue and storytelling from Clawberry are fantastically written and displays that the author is familiar with how kids interact – interrupting each other and inserting one another into the stories.
The art is incredibly imaginative transitioning from cute and disgusting with ease. One moment, a reader will be faced by a playful character, and then have slimy, oozing pumpkin guts juxtaposed to them. It’s remarkable how the line art, color choices, and lettering work together to display seemingly contradictory styles of storytelling simultaneously without feeling awkward or forced. The Misadventures of Clawberry & Friends is perfect for a horror comics-loving parent wanting something for the kids, or anyone who enjoys simple, fun stories.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Fearsome as the Night by Lisa Treece & Jeremy Treece
Coraline by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell
Bone by Jeff Smith
If you like the art:
Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol by Jim McCann, Jeremy Treece & David Baldeon
The Quiet Kind by Chuck Brown & Jeremy Treece
Plants Vs. Zombies by Paul Tobin & Ron Chan
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Lisa Treece (@tree__madam) – Writer
While new to comics, Lisa Treece is a poet and songwriter and has had written works published by the Detroit Free Press, Daily Detroit, and LVP Publications.
She is the house writer and editor for Crisishour.
Lisa Treece’s latest comic titled Seeds of Mourning is being released in the future with a prequel being available in Fearsome as the Night.
Jeremy Treece (@jeremytreece) - Artist
Jeremy Treece has a wide-reaching career having done linework for Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW, and Dynamite comics.
They are also a colorist and have done work on multiple Marvel titles, as well works from Image, Dynamite, and IDW.
Treece started publishing their comics through Crisishour with their wife Lisa in 2010.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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