If old sitcoms are to be believed, selling lemonade is a time-honored tradition that every kid goes through. How else can you learn about the wonders of capitalism at a young age? Lemon, Pepper, and Huggz try it out to raise money for a trip to the local amusement park but they run into trouble from the Cookie Scouts. You can’t just set up shop in their turf and get away with it.
Lemon Pepper Huggz makes the trials and tribulations of youth look like insane adventures. This lemonade stand (or rather a limeade stand because that’s all they could find) consumes the lives of these three kids. It is everything to them and they’re willing to fight tooth and nail for it. This makes the encounters with the Cookie Scouts all the more refreshing.
The Cookie Scouts are framed like a mob. They swoop in to taunt, threaten, and downright terrorize the limeade stand to the point where the kids are practically run out of town. There’s a conspiracy at work that goes all the way to the town department of health. Selling snacks in this place is serious business.
Artist Oscar Garza’s style is a great fit for this showdown with a playful, cartoonish tone. The characters are often overly expressive, trading barbs with wit and attitude. The actions of the kids are also perfect for their ages. I cannot tell you how many times my six year old has flailed around on the ground when he didn’t get his way. It’s the same kind of stuff here.
The colors are bright and vibrant, speaking to the wonders of youth and the adventures kids can get into. They’re small scale, but epic in their own right. The sun is shining brightly on this town and despite the ups and downs of their business, there’s still some cheer to be had.
This debut issue is wrapped up with a bit of a deus ex machina in the form of Lemon’s brother, Ayo. We don’t see him much in this story aside from a brief appearance in the beginning so it felt weird for him to swoop in at the last minute. The emotional impact of his actions don’t pack as much of a punch as a result. Writer Rolando Esquivel weaves this in in such a way that it make sense, but it could have meant more if Ayo was more involved along the way.
Lemon Pepper Huggz is very much an all ages title, speaking to the young and the young at heart. The themes are understandable for anyone that’s ever been a kid or at least seen one on TV. The cartoony style is a great fit for the wacky adventures this trio gets into and I’m sure there are many more to come.
Lemon Pepper Huggz #1 from 5 Meats Comics is currently available digitally through ComiXology.