by Roger Langridge and Fred Stresing
A brand new work from Roger Langridge, Abigail and the Snowman from Kaboom! is a cute new series featuring a quite unlikely pairing. Langridge introduces readers to Abigail and her dad as they have just recently arrived in Shipton-on-Sea. They, however, are not the only individuals out-of-place in this town. While the first issue feels light and very introductory, it includes several bits that hint at what the series has in mind.
Abigail and the Snowman #1 is the story of a young girl and her father who seem to be in a tough stretch. After moving to a new town, Abigail’s dad loses his job. This happens to fall in line with Abigail’s birthday, and the girl is not happy to see her plans dashed. But there is more going on here with both Abigail and the town than just family difficulties. Langridge opens the story with the introduction of two agents who are tracking down some being with the code-name “specimen 486.” This town seems to have been the unlucky location of some creature. Langridge does well to introduce the suspense without over dramatizing. Instead, the two agents are closer to points of comedy.
As the first issue progresses, Abigail shows that she is no stranger to having to create her own fun. From the moment she enters school she looks to be picked on as the new kid. But Abigail doesn’t take much time giving her new setting a chance before she wanders off to play with her dog. Well, play with her dog might be a big strong. In fact, Abigail shows no concern for her public display as she runs around with an invisible, or imaginary pet. Langridge has created a subtle character trait here that is certainly interesting. At no point does her father show any outward signs of ill-will or negligence, but it is noticeable how focused he becomes on his job search. Though his lack of job is definitely a concern, the previous incarnation of the imaginary pet matched with his unwillingness to break from the search even to partake in some celebration of his daughter’s birthday do suggest that Abigail has gotten used to being alone. While not a centerpiece of the story, it is a curious bit included with the character’s development and may be why she is the perfect candidate to befriend a giant creature attempting to hide behind a pencil-thin tree.
The comical introduction of the story’s monster matches the humor Langridge infuses through the two agents assigned to the case. With some similarities to Imaginary Agents, the new series establishes some rules about the different creatures and to whom they are visible. Langridge’s art is beautiful and simplistic. Fred Stresing’s colors are an excellent match and the entire visual aspect of the first issue is quite enjoyable. The characters are emoting throughout, as Langridge does a wonderful job capturing the facial features and body language of those on display. The two work well together to depict a rather cheery new environment and a giant monster that looks as friendly as the invisible dog that Abigail has come to need.
The opening issue of this mini series is certainly an enjoyable one. Though it functions mostly as an introduction to the cast and premise, Langridge does a good job to indicate what is to come. Though fairly simple, the book is well crafted in both script and art.