Babyteeth #1 Review

Posted June 6, 2017 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Donnie Cates

Art by: Garry Brown

Published by: Aftershock Comics

To anyone that’s been paying attention to comics, Babyteeth should be one of the most exciting releases of the year. Donnie Cates has taken the industry by storm, having already launched two of the year’s best books in God Country and Redneck. If this issue is an accurate indicator, Babyteeth completes his hat trick (wow, I did a sports reference).

This issue does read very much like a debut issue, in the sense that it consists mainly of set up. But as is typical for him, Cates includes a storytelling device that justifies the amount of monologue. It just so happens that the monologue is also excellent, setting up a series of events that I can’t help but want to read about.

Amidst all of this, there’s enough time to get to know the characters. At this point, they’re little more than caricatures, with hints at their personalities and potential arcs. As far as introductions go, it all feels more than sufficient. I’m not immediately in love with anyone, but I’m definitely interested–and interest should, at some juncture, result in investment.

Most of the characterization in this book is visual. Garry Brown’s art is mostly fantastic, and the body language and actions are incredibly revealing without feeling rote or reliant on tropes. There are a few panels where the art feels a little inconsistent, however. One in particular is especially noticeable because it comes at such an important juncture in the story, but otherwise, Brown does excellent work.

Some of the most striking panels and pages are those that veer a little deeper into the surreal. Brown’s colors are especially beautiful, in a jarring sort of way that ripped me out of a false sense of security. Cates’ monologue certainly conveys the idea that everything is not Ok, but Brown is the one that makes good on that promise.

I feel like a broken record at this point, because at the end of every Donnie Cates review I beg everyone reading to just go buy it. And, much like Redneck and God Country, I’m going to beg you to go out and buy this one. It’s a better-than-promising start to another book from one of the best talents in the industry right now. You’re failing not only yourself, but good comics by not at least giving Babyteeth a shot.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.