Bug! The Adventures of Forager is the latest title to be released in the Young Animal line of comics being curated by Gerard Way, alongside Doom Patrol, which is also written by Way, Shade: The Changing Girl, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, and Mother Panic. The entire line has shown a great deal of quality and a penchant for wackiness so far, exploring unusual corners of DC Comics history and pushing forward in new directions.
Bug! has already been roundly praised by critics and fans, as written by Lee Allred, and illustrated by Michael Allred and Laura Allred. The first issue of the series is illustrated beautifully, has some extremely interesting ideas at work, and is an all-round reminder of just how weird and exciting comics can be.
Bug, or Forager, as he’s also known, was raised among giant insects, and as such is a character who stands between worlds. Like Shade, the Changing Girl, he’s a characters whose mind seems to work differently and we get to observe that mind in action and get a whiff of the truly alien in his perspective. This is one of the greatest strengths of the comic–both in artwork and in writing, it conveys a sense of the truly alien or foreign and thereby creates a sense of wonder for us. We don’t just view that alien-ness, either, we get invited along to be part of the experience alongside character who is very much ‘other’ than what we’re used to.
The book introduces us to Bug, who has woken from a cocoon where he has been presumed dead for some time. He finds himself in a strange place and time, trying to reconstruct his identity and purpose, and meets strange denizens of an abandoned house who seem to be trying to help him understand his trajectory. Through intricate page layouts and energetic panel composition we watch a character who seems to be both chasing and on the run from his own mind, and perhaps from things yet to come.
This is a trippy dreamscape of a comic, with elements of Bug’s future and past thrown in to bring us up to speed on the character and what might be developing for him. Lee Allred relentlessly brings in interesting ideas in the dialogue, too, teasing out possibilities and keeping us engaged. Bug has his own unusual vocabulary, referring to a world that’s not really his own in strange verbal combinations that suggest his own attempts to understand the place he’s woken up in.
The comic takes on a cosmic and interdimensional scale for future issues, and with such a broad territory to explore, the Allreds will have plenty of room to surprise us with Bug’s adventures yet to come.
Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1 is already out in shops. Issue #2 arrives on June 7th, 2017.
[Variant cover art for issue #2 by Doc Shaner]