Wet Hot American Summer
Writer: Christopher Hastings
Artist: Noah Hayes
Wet Hot American Summer, despite sounding like a dirty movie, is a classic cult comedy movie. Originally released in 2001, the movie has spawned both a prequel and sequel series for itself. Now, it’s breaking new ground and coming to us in a comic book format.
Camp Firewood is in danger of being shut down, and it’s up to the counselors to save it. It’s familiar feeling plot for a movie about a summer camp in the 80s. There’s a little action, some romance, and lots of jokes.
Like the movie, the story switches every few pages between the (large) cast of characters as they try to save the camp. The story is a little basic, and straightforward, but the book is mainly carried by the jokes and humor. Christopher Hastings isn’t a stranger to comedic writing, and for the most part all the jokes land. The characters, for the most part, are who they are from the movie. There’s a little personality loss going from a live action movie to a comic book, but that’s what I was expecting. My biggest “problem” is with the large number of characters. Some appear for one or two pages here and there but are otherwise absent from the story. It’s not really a problem though, as I like it better than forcing characters in for the sake of it.
When I saw the cover, I thought that the whole book would try and capture the actors’ likeness. I don’t think that a realistic art style like that is bad, but I don’t think it would’ve worked here. But, Noah Hayes does a good job with the art here. The characters look like the actors, but without approaching uncanny valley. They look cartoony, and that helps with the feel of the book. The character designs are out of the eighties, without copying directly from the movie or show. There are two characters that I did mix up a couple of times because they look very similar. It’s not any kind of huge problem, just a little confusion at the start of the book.
Wet Hot American Summer is one of my favorite movies, and this comic is a good prequel/adaptation. It emulates the joke-heavy format of the movie without completely copying it. There are references to the film, but they’re funny and do a good job breaking the fourth wall. The art is more cartoonish than realistic, which helps the feel of the book and furthers the book from being a copy of the movie. If you’re a fan of the film, or of comedy comics in general, this is definitely worth a read.
Wet Hot American Summer
Wet Hot American Summer adapts the world of Camp Firewood to a comic book format well. The story is straightforward, but it is carried by the humor and jokes, and has art that fits the tone and spirit of the book.