Comic Review: The Thrilling Adventure Hour: A Spirited Romance SC Discover Now Edition (BOOM! Studios)

It’s based on old radio shows, ladies and gentlemen, Boom Comics presents The Thrilling Adventure Hour, with your hosts Frank and Sadie Doyle in “A Spirited Romance”! There’s a big […]

It’s based on old radio shows, ladies and gentlemen, Boom Comics presents The Thrilling Adventure Hour, with your hosts Frank and Sadie Doyle in “A Spirited Romance”!

There’s a big creative team involved in this graphic novel. It’s written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, penciled by Phil Hester and inked by three people: Eric Gapstur, Mark Stegbauer, and Ande J. Parks. It’s coloured by Mauricio Wallace and John Rauch. The cover is by Scott Newman.

A bit of background for people like me, who have never heard of Acker and Blacker, and are wondering if I made a typo. These two guys have a stage show called The Thrilling Adventure Hour, which is also a podcast. They’ve assembled a long list of TV show writing credits, and have written for several comic companies. Between them, there’s a lot of writing experience. How does this comic hold up in the face of such high expectations?

First, before opinions, let’s set the scene: Frank and Sadie Doyle are married. When they met, their chemistry, and I don’t just mean their alcohol, was well, magic. Before long, they were taming ghosts together. How are they able to do this? Not sure. Not important.

A Spirited Romance takes us along on the witty, drinking and partying lifestyle that suits our Doyles. They just love a drink, and so do their friends. A few drinks, a few laughs, and chase away some ghosts. All the while, bantering away, drink in one hand, and dressed to the nines. It’s got to be martini-o’clock somewhere, dear, haha.

The banter gets a little thin, as our couple charge around the neighbourhood, feeling very good, and confronting confused spirits of the supernatural type.
But overall, if a bit too much chatter is giving you a headache, check out the plot, which is a very very fine one, and over here, we have the splendid artwork, and you see, it’s been inked in an almost invisibly mended way by our three inkers. The essential ingredients in this cocktail of entertainment is: The Doyles, their booze, and ghosts, lost ghosts, trapped or unhappy, and pestering nearby humans and other ghosts too. There are some fun twists in the telling, sort of like a bit of zest of lemon here and there. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ghost moments to be had and the evening is just beginning. Freshen that up for you, bub? The colouring is a bit higgelty piggelty, that is to say, it’s fine, mostly on the grey and earthtone side, and other times, just kinda wild looking.

There you have it, as we wind up our review at the top of the hour; sometimes the demons in our heads are not from drink, they are simply demons. And the pounding in our heads is not from another nightcap, it’s from the noise that the spirits are making, as the moon shines into our blasted windows at the peak of the madness.

There is a fair bit of fun at the end of the book too. The writers have seen fit to include their original script for A Spirited Romance, complete with their commentary. It’s simply required reading in some circles. And it’s very witty.

BOOM Comics, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, A Spirited Romance, $14.99 for 116 pages of content. Assume Mature, possibly Teen +

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!