Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake: Double Feature

There are times when you need something fun and frivolous to read. Sometimes you need to give the ole' think-gut a rest, you know what I mean? I'd spent the last few weeks investing a lot of time reading a certain 800+ paged novel, only to have a it spoiled by a jerk friend. (There are some spoilers that just happen, and it can be forgiven. But this was a particularly asshole way to do it.) I'm pretty angry about it - I was just innocently reading and enjoying my book when this happens, and before you ask, no it wasn't Game of Thrones related. So I had to put it away (instead of just sitting around waiting for the axe to drop) and read something else to get my mind off of things.
Local Comic Store
Amazon Smile
So I opted to read some spin-offs of a cartoon franchise I really enjoy.
Even as a kid, I wasn't a fan of licensed books or series' that had too many sequels. I especially didn't trust books without a real author, feeling as if they were somehow illegitimate. But if they were part of a franchise I liked enough, I would want to give that franchise all of my money. Such is the way with Adventure Time's Fionna and Cake. I have been a fan of them since Natasha Allegri first posted her cute and very accurate comic strips on her Tumblr. I sure hope she's getting royalties from these spin-offs or something, because I'm going to continue buying anything Fionna and Cake related as long as they keep making them. Mainly on the grounds that actual episodes featuring them on the Adventure Time cartoon are rare, but also because I believe in supporting things that I think are awesome.

So, I read both the comic (at press time, there is only one volume - I don't know if there will be any more in the future) and a children's novella called "Queen of Rogues" - which was advertised as a romance novel, but there wasn't any romance to speak of.
First, the comic book. As it was helmed by Natasha herself (she did some writing and illustrating) it felt the most legitimate. At least, you get a more authentic feel of her original Fionna and Cake characters, which early on didn't seem like gender bent versions of Finn and Jake, but were their own things. Fionna and Cake are heavily influenced in both art and story by Japanese Shojo manga, which feels very natural with Natasha's art and story telling, as well as with the other artists and writers who wrote and illustrated for this comic.
The only issue I had was that the story telling was that it was a little too light, whimsical, and simplistic. (It started off brilliantly with the Flame Queen.) I remembered the original strips were really funny, though they might have been a little inappropriate too. I think the publishers were too afraid to go as dark as Cake leaving dead mice in Fionna's bed - maybe because that might be too intense for their little girl audiences. (I don't know, at that age I'd seen my cats do plenty of f**ked up things and I still like cats just fine.) I hope we do get further issues so that we can see more of Natasha's cutesy but still very wicked wit shine through.

Now for Queen of Rouge's - an obviously ghost-written franchise novella for younger readers. Actually, it was really well written and interesting. It was released with another book starring Jake the Dog and Lady Rainicorn, which was really romancey, but from what I saw of it, really stupid. This story was supposed to tell some of the background of how Fionna and Cake were introduced to Prince Bubblegum and Marshall Lee the Vampire King. I seriously doubt that any of it is cannon, but try convincing your kids that. I can see both young boys and girls enjoying this book, if you're a parent having a hard time getting your children to enjoy books.

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