Adventure Time – Original Cartoon Title Cards Vol.1. Book Review

Titan Books, h/b, 104pp, £14.99
Reviewed by Phil Lunt

Adventure Time is a surreal fantasy/sci-fi/horror joy! Created by Pendleton Ward and set in a post apocalyptic future full of magic and mutants, it’s the story of the last known human, Finn, and his magical talking dog, Jake – distant echoes of a certain Harlan Ellison tale here, folks? Or, it’s all an elaborate game of Dungeons & Dragons played out by a boy and his dad, there are many theories. Kids love the zanyness but, believe me, there is much for older children, and those of us who simply haven’t fully grown up, to love. It is one of my current go-to cartoon du jour, along with Gravity Falls and Bravest Warriors (the former, another one tied behind a TV subscription, the latter serialised on YouTube) For those who have difficulty with the weird, often childish: I recommend giving the two part episode Holly Jolly Secrets a try – a twist on the Yuletide season that had me hooked from the start. Episodes are each about 10 minutes long so they won’t eat into your time too much. Unless you get hooked.

Here, though, is a book that any fan of the show – or just a fan of artwork and illustration – can appreciate. Collecting a selection of episode title cards from the first two seasons, presented along with concept art and brief descriptions from the artists, it is a well put together thing of beauty. Title cards flash up before each episode and are easily, and quickly, forgotten. Here they are brought to the fore so that the work involved in their creation can be fully appreciated. It isn’t overdone and the artwork is the focus, as it should be, so in that manner I’ll let the artwork speak for itself here.

Essential for fans, well worth checking out for illustration/cartoon lovers. I can’t wait for Volume 2!

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(click on the thumbnails for bigger previews)