Review: NUTMEG #1


Written by James F. Wright
Art by Jackie Crofts
Published by Action Lab
Release date: April 15, 2015

This book has students with spiced themed names, protagonists starting off on the wrong side of the law, plus an animated-fun art style. Nutmeg is an all-ages story designed to tell the story of the sympathetic protagonist who is their own worst enemy. The hero-turned villain. Nutmeg is the “Breaking Bad” of all-age comics. It helps that the story opens with a panel of the two main characters thinking back on their “kingdom” of baked treats while sitting in a cop car.

James Wright gives merely a taste of the series with this first issue. Teasing with the opening page, he quickly back tracks to use the rest of the issue to let Jackie Crofts shine in telling the story of how the two main characters, Cannelle (Cassia) Carraway and Poppy Pepper. These two girls who later bake their way into trouble are not the only ones with spiced themed names. The two girls find themselves on the outs with a girl scout like squad, the Lady Rangers. Over the course of revelations and sharing they realize how they can get their revenge, even if it requires taking some dangerous measures.

Jackie Crofts art is fun and whimsical. Muted flats with single measures of highlighting along the edges of shapes proves a clean look. There is a clear choice in panel layouts over white verse scenery verse whole brown shading for flashbacks. It provides a purposeful pacing that will help younger readers diving into the book. Character designs work to provide a variety in the girls that attend the school. Instead of a sea of similar blobs, faces and identical hair colors, each one in the classroom at the beginning is given unique features.

Together Wright and Crofts explore themes that will speak to school-aged children. Cassia is first introduced as the new girl in school. The participants of the Lady Rangers fall easily in the role of bullies and popular girls. There’s a cute boy, a hangout spot, all the ingredients for a classic teen story. However, the first person narrative at the beginning makes it clear that something will go wrong. By the final page you can sense where things were going, but still wonder what other twists and turns might be ahead.

Fans of Lumberjanes, Penny Dora and Amelia Cole will enjoy this series. Parents with elementary, pre-teens and tweens will enjoy having another book they can share and discuss with their kids. It’s an all-ages tale that is willing to have over the top fun while taking just a light and intriguing walk on the mysterious side.

The Verdict: 8.0/10



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