Comic collection review: Sunnyville Stories Vol. 2 by Max West

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In Sunnyville Stories Vol. 2 Max West expands the world of Sunnyville, introducing new characters and storylines into the mix.  He begins the collection with Episode 4, a melancholy morality piece, which introduces Rusty (The main character) to a certain degree of tragedy as He and Samantha try to reunite Roger with his Uncle Mr. Jakes from the fix it shop.  This is finally achieved by Ms. Brown who relates a tragic tale from her own past to help the family see that time and forgiveness are gifts and should not be taken lightly.

We go into episode 5 with a lighter tone as Rusty must prepare for his first dance.  This is reminiscent of Bob Montana and his classic Archie comics strip in flavor.  Rusty must learn to overcome his own fears and self awareness and this really culminates when Rusty looks beyond himself and sees Samantha in her dancing outfit.  This chapter is more in line with the slice of life style that we saw in Volume 1, a light hearted romp with a mild moral lesson to be learned.  Not that Sunnyville is out to preach, but we see the character of Rusty learning all the lessons of teenage life as his character grows.  He is still the wise cracking protagonist we know and love, but since he moved to Sunnyville he is learning more about the world in Max West’s microcosm of the world at large.

In episode 6 the gang all comes together to put on a unique version of Cinderella for the school play.  In this Rusty and the gang now look beyond themselves to the plays director and their teacher Donna Mason who is going to be let go by the board.  They put on a play in true Sunnyville style with the whole town showing up and all the characters playing a part.  Like a perfectly executed sitcom, Max West brings everything together as everything goes wrong and yet, in the end Rusty and the gang save Ms. Mason’s job.

And lastly we turn to episode 7 which is sort of a comic interlude paying homage to the classic Abbot and Costello routine “Who’s on First?” In this story we meet Who, What and Why, as you can imagine they use this confusion to thwart the evil Weasel Brothers in their latest attempt to  cause mischief.

Once again Max has utilized his artistic style of “Only what’s necessary,” and brings his comics to life in a deceptively simplistic style.  Much like Charles Schulz, he brigs a heart to his characters and stories which is lacking in the more cynical mainstream comics.  If you are looking for something different in todays mass market comic book fare, look no further than the true independent comics out there where many artists are still trying to do something different in both style and subject.  You can find Max West’s Sunnyville Stories on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Sunnyville-Stories-Vol-Max-West/dp/0989069605

You can find the other volumes of Sunnyville Stories there as well, or at selected independent comic shops and libraries.  His main website is http://sunnyvillestories.com/ So check it out for yourself and as always True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your Root Beer always foamy.

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