ADVANCED REVIEW: Sweet Lullaby #5 (of 6)

The penultimate issue of Lullaby’s first story sees the seeds of change start to sprout and invade her work, making life a tad more difficult.  Facing the sort of decisions about career, love and the desire to have everything that we all face, leaves Lullaby stuck with inaction, which with her perchance  of vicious movement seems incongruous.  Yet, following her story through the various parts of her life, we get to see inside her shell, pervade her own dreams and maybe even feel a little bit sorry for her.

Despite the aforementioned emotional aspect of this book, there is still plenty of action to go around.  First of all, there is the small detail of the cliff-hanger from last issue to resolve, before dealing with a current dream and setting up the next black sheep.

Writer AJ Scherkenbach works overtime in this issue.  Sure, with Lullaby and her father alive in the present it is a given that noting too “serious” will happen in the past and there is a certain meeting that has to happen in order to make the latter stages of the book work.  It would be easy then to let the details slide in order to get to the present faster.  Scherkenbach avoids this well and by doing so makes it easier for the reader to buy into the motivations of the character that adds a level of difficulty to Lullaby’s choices.  Dialogue wise, it’s as you were with even more sleep metaphors thrown in.  I wonder what happens in the Scherkenbach household if anyone asks for a “bedtime story”?.

J. Bricose Allison is again on top curvy, over-emphasis form with both body structure and facial elements.  The influences that have been mentioned previously are still in play, yet familiarity certainly does not breed contempt.  There is a fun element to the pencils that manages to accentuate the violence when characters are “put to sleep”.  Also, the cartoony element gives the surreal actions of Lullaby and her father an air of normalcy, which is how they see their world.  Allison pulls triple duty as he also letters and colors  with Juanchoo Velez helping out on the latter.  Between the pair the colors are vibrantly delicious and practically indulgent when added to the enjoyment that Lullaby finds in her work.

For me, this book has been a great success.  The lifestyle that Z and Lullaby lead, driven by Z not having the sort of fatherly skills you would find in real life, taking the “follow in my footsteps” adage a tad too far.  This doesn’t mean that Z doesn’t love his daughter – on the contrary, he is enabling her to achieve the one goal she set out for herself following her mother’s death.  Fans of books like Kick-Ass, where the superhero model get turned upside down, should find lots to like about this series, as should anyone who appreciates great storytelling through brisk dialogue and fantastic visuals.

If you are interested to learn more about Sweet Lullaby and the people behind the book, head over to the Interview section for an interview with writer AJ Scherkenbach and artist J. Briscoe Allison.

Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars

Publisher: Darby Pop

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