Comic Spotlight: Sunnyville Stories Vol. 1 by Max West


We are marking this month when fellow Root Beer Party member Max West releases his third volume of Sunnyville Stories, I thought I would go back and introduce readers (and True Believers) to Max West’s pervious collections.

In this first collection we are introduced to Rusty Duncan, our hero and protagonist as he is moved from the big city to the small town.  In this idyllic setting Rusty and his gang find all sorts of adventures and surprises as it turns out, the simple life isn’t so simple after all.

Episode 1: Beginnings

In this chapter Rusty arrives in the small town and the beaten up old house and has a bad attitude about his parents having to move here for his father’s job.  he misses the city with the arcades and movie theaters as well as his old life and friends.

In this chapter we are introduced to Samantha McGregor who becomes Rusty’s best friend and his guide into this small town world that he knows nothing about.  He begins to see that the loss of his old life does not mean that his life is over, but that he now has an opportunity to begin again.  As Samantha shows him around and introduces him to her family and friends, Rusty begins to see the depth of a world he never knew existed outside of the big cities.

In this chapter Max shows the traumatic extremes of someone packing up all their roots and moving to a new place, the fear of trying to fit in is mingled with the loss of everything he has given up as well as the excitement of possibility which is found in the end.  A great introduction to a multilayered epic story.

Episode 2: Multiball Madness

In this chapter Rusty is thrown into life in Sunnyville.  He goes to school and begins to realize that he is the odd man out, but with the help of Samantha, he navigates his way through the social hierarchy of high school life and begins to find his place

The chapter culminates in a challenge  between himself and Rose in a game of Pinball.  Rose is the daughter of the factory owner in town and the only real wealthy person in Sunnyville.  Rusty does his best to take the high road like Samantha, but his temper gets the better of him and soon the challenge is made and pinball match is set.

Max West shows the classical confrontation story here of the newcomer vs. the bully, and in classic style, it is the unknown talent of the newcomer which saves the day.  Rusty it the fish out of water here, but through his courage, he begins to fit in and make a place for himself.

Episode 3: The Train Robbers

This is where we begin to see the scope and scale of Sunnyville Stories with the introduction of many new townspeople.  We have the weasel Brothers as well as the sheriff, but we also are introduced to several of the towns business people, like the ferrets from Greece.

Sunnyville may be a small town, but it is also in many ways an international community.  Max West sees beyond the stereotypical small town clichés and introduces many new elements into the story.  We see that the small town of Sunnyville is much more complex than a simple group of like minded inbreeds ,   Sunnyville is more of a haven of small town values applied to an international setting.  What may appear simple at first is complex in design.

Max’s art is not fussy or overly complicated and on the face of it, Sunnyville seems like a simple comic, but if you just scratch the surface, you begin to see the depth and complexities of the world Max has created.  Just as Peanuts is no simple strip about kid’s playing around, Sunnyville is no simple strip about small town life.  In Max West’s world, Sunnyville is small town lifeand values applied to a great big world.

You can check out your own copy of Sunnyville Stories Vol 1 here on Amazon:

I highly recommend this one True Believers, this volume is the start of something great.  The countdown to volume 3 has begun and I will be back later this month with exclusive interviews and reviews of some of Max’s other works as well.  Until next time, True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.


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