Shonen Jump Style Anthology Sun Bakery Shines

by Staff

 

This week the first issue of an experimental new series arrives from Image Comics–Sun Bakery by Corey Lewis, aka “Reyyy“. Sun Bakery is an anthology with a twist–all the stories contained in the 48 page issue are written and drawn by Reyyy, nevertheless they are serialized and each very different from the next. The format is inspired by Shonen Jump, according to Reyyy, since Reyyy found that the comics it contained possessed “limitless energy”.

I have to confess that I wouldn’t have known that all of the stories were created by Reyyy if I hadn’t read the covers carefully. They differ so widely in genre and style that you really do feel this could be the work of several creators. And that is the general idea. Reyyy has many different stories to tell, and likes to move between them episodically as a creator, and so it made sense to try something somewhat radical to Western comics tradition in recent days–but something that has been far more familiar in manga–by creating and publishing in smaller segments.

[A page from “Dream Skills”]

Of course, we used to do this even in superhero comics. That’s where Marvel Comics and Detective Comics get their  overly generalized company names, from their originally expansive contents featuring different hero strips and storylines, where only the break out successes eventually received their own titles. It’s very refreshing to hear Reyyy suggesting that not all creators work in the same manner and different formats suit different approaches to comics–the same can be said for readers. Surely there are plenty of readers, myself included, who enjoy reading shorter serialized work neatly piled together into an oversized issue? If nothing else, it adds contrast to the art styles and color palettes, showing off differences in storytelling that remind you why you like comics in the first place.

[A page from “Dream Skills”]

The stories included in this first issue are “Arem”, “Dream Skills”, “Bat Rider”, and the short bonus story “Dead Naked”. The first story, “Arem” works in pastel blocks of color, lavender and pink, with violet linework and science-fiction themes. Our central character hunts strange creatures on alien worlds in body armor until a tense turn of events. “Dream Skills” features several characters discussing the city in which they live and the strange rules of their magical life when mystical swords become the weapon of choice and auras protect fighters from instant harm, video game style. Here we have pink and earth-tones, and a focus on facial reactions, emotions, and dramatic poses as the strange logic of “Dream Skills” unfolds.

“Bat Rider” in turn is quite different from the previous two stories in style, etched out in inky black and white and featuring a talking skateboard and the “bat rider”, who wields a bat on nocturnal desires to “shred”. The final bonus story is plenty mysterious and decidedly witchy with a lurid pink background and starkly inked but sinuous lines. As you can tell from this description, Reyyy is not only using different types of storytelling but also different media choices that render each story distinctive.

[A page from “Dream Skills”]

Sun Bakery is a strong statement of artistic drive and skill from Reyyy and a reminder that there are many stories to tell in comics and many different ways to approach that drive. This works out well for readers who get, in one oversized single issue, an entry into several worlds and very different experiences of mood, tone, and imagination.

Sun Bakery #1 arrived in shops on February 22nd, and Sun Bakery #2 is set to arrive on June 15th. It is currently listed in Previews World with item code: APR161202

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