Fwendly Fwuit Winter Wonders
Writer and Artist: Mickey Lam
Release: Available Now
Fwendly Fwuit Winter Wonders is a children’s comic book, and to be honest and upfront right off the bat, I don’t have any children and I’m 30 years old. I always find it hard for me to review books for younger readers because I feel like I’m out of touch, and I don’t know what kids are into these days; I’ve had to read some Adventure Time comics and I’m just not a fan. I feel like that show is more appropriately aimed at stoned young adults and if I watched it as a kid I’d be lost and annoyed. When I was assigned to review Fwendly Fwuit Winter Wonders, I was worried it’d be a lump of pop culture references that fly high over most children’s heads thrown in with some surreal and grotesque art plus a helping of adult humor that crosses the lines of good taste, thankfully Fwendly Fwuit Winter Wonders is an enjoyable comic book that I could see myself really eating up (pun fully intended) as a young child, so it’s refreshingly competent in that regard, however I don’t feel like it would keep a child’s interest if the child was past the age of six years old, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing though.
Fwendly Fwuit Winter Wonders tells a very simple story about anamorphic fruit pals going on an adventure. There’s not much more to it, and there really doesn’t have to be. We get our characters, we know they’re friends, and they go on an adventure. Not everything has to be overly complex and clever to be good, especially when it comes to children’s entertainment. The art is gorgeous and beautifully bright; some panels make me believe that this could absolutely be from a top cartoon animation studio doing a tie-in comic book. It doesn’t have a cheap quality that a lot of indie books seem to have, so kudos to creator Mickey Lam for creating something so aesthetically pleasing. The characters are designed well, but I really like the way Lam did the backgrounds, and his action scenes are epic and exciting. Everything about this book, visually, is just super top-notch and it should keep the kiddies entertained and engaged.
I feel like Mickey Lam’s Fwendly Fwuit Wonders would be a perfect book for parents to buy in order to help their children ease off into learning how to read on their own…which brings me to my only gripe; there’s a lot of phonetic misspellings, not just in the title, but the book itself. The strawberry character is named Stawberry, and the banana character is named Bawanna. Again, maybe I’m not the right person to make these kinds of criticisms, me being 30 and not having children of my own and all, but I feel like proper spelling and grammar would be more valuable to a child during their learning process. I know it’s meant to be sweet and endearing, but like I said earlier, I just see this book as great tool to teach young children how to read, and I feel the “phonetic speech impediment” style of spelling might be slightly detrimental in catering to the young readers crowd. It’s entirely possible I’m making it too much of a big deal, but I feel compelled to share my thoughts on the matter.
It teeters on the line of being ridiculously random, but thankfully never crosses into the obnoxious. The story’s randomness is enjoyable and appropriate for children without wading the waters that a lot of children’s programming does these days i.e Adventure Time, Uncle Grandpa, etc. It’s silly, but just the right amount of silly that doesn’t serve as a cheap distraction. Things like a watermelon spaceship are cute and adorably in line with a child’s sensibilities instead of something far out there like H.P. Lovecraft references and obscure nods to adult pop culture. I feel like there’s not much to offer for an older audience, but it’s perfect for kiddos and parents looking for safe comics to introduce to young readers. I’d love to see Michael Lam work on something for an audience with a wider age range, or tweak The Fwendly Fruit characters into something more educational.
Fwendly Fwuit Winter Wonders is available to purchase here:
Check out Mickey Lam on Twitter: @illustratorlam
There’s some great stuff here for young readers and parents of young kids, but not much for anybody else; still, Fwendly Fwuit Winter Wonders has a fantastic art style that’s aesthetically pleasing and adorable. I’d recommend it as a gateway comic book for the kindergarten crowd, and I think it’d have great success if it took a more educational approach.