Comics: Come with me, and you'll see...
Space Battle Lunchtime (Oni Press) - This is a quirky, fun adventure from the get-go. Peony is an exceptional earthling, creating recipes at her job which is a coffee and pastry shop called "Dozens". She is recruited by a strange humanoid frog who asks "Do you have what it takes to be the *greatest chef* in the *galaxy*?" She's excited by the thought of a competition, but she quickly finds that she's bitten off more than she can chew. She is teleported to the spaceship where the show is filmed and produced, and starts to meet her fellow competitors. The set up of the structure of the show feels familiar: six chefs create excellent food based on challenges, rounds are judged and the lowest scoring chef is kicked off the show.
The first issue ends with Peony staring confusedly at alien culinary tools and her unique mystery ingredient. There's actually a bit of a cliffhanger here, and I hope that they handle the SBL episode well. Considering the way the first issue of the comic has been handled, there's the potential for nuance and good storytelling here.
The art style is somewhere between anime and Steven Universe, with the starry background when Peony decides she wants to be on Space Battle Lunchtime being a prime illustration (forgive the pun). The color scheme is fairly bright, and the backgrounds are slightly muted watercolors. The best part of the art is the cozier feeling yellows in the background of Earth environs, and the colder blues and grays on the spaceship.
The amount of creativity that goes into this comic book is amazing: from the concept, to the world-building and the intergalactic characters, this is a unique book that should not be missed.
Goldie Vance (Boom! Box) - If you are looking for a comic with a teen detective, look no further. The first adventure with Goldie is in Crossed Palms Resort, with her valet parking and solving mysteries in her spare time. It is not immediately obvious that Goldie is a teenager, as she seems incredibly short for a 16 year old. She's spunky, intelligent, and resourceful. The first issue revolves around the theft of a priceless necklace, and Goldie uses all of her resources to recover it. There's an unexpected twist in her fairly straightforward mission, but she's able to come out of it gracefully.
The art style feels almost like Disney, and rightly so: artist Brittney Williams was an intern at Walt Disney Animation Studios, and worked more recently on Marvel's Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat. There's a certain essence of anime, which makes it stylistically more like Avatar: the Last Airbender (the TV series, not the live action movie). The author of Goldie Vance is most famous in my eyes for the graphic novel version of Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, which was excellent.
All things considered, this is a lighthearted whodunnit that is quite enjoyable.
See you around,