Sam Alden’s Wicked Chicken Queen (Retrofit Comics)

Sam Alden’s Wicked Chicken Queen is filled with surprises.

First, “Wicked Chicken Queen” is roughly “standard comics” size. By that I mean it’s the same size as most of the comics you could pick up at your local comic store or about 6 7/8 x 10 1/2 inches, give or take a centimeter.

Second, the cover is a thick full color un-glossed cardstock, which really gives the artwork (I’m guessing colored pencils and watercolor wash?) a good backbone. The interiors pages are black and white, and the enlarged size gives Alden’s signature pencil smudgy erasin’ art a lot of room to work, which is great because I can stare at a single page for a few minutes, soaking in every pencil line.

Third, Sam Alden wrote a “children’s book.” Or at the very least I read it as a children’s book. Each page is a single illustration with a narrative, and the themes, and flow of the story reminds me of the children’s books that filled my childhood with wonder. This was the most surprising thing for me, since I was expecting a traditional comic book like Household, or Alden’s other work, but was pleasantly surprised to read a picture / children’s book.

That said, Alden continues to live up to the hype heaped upon him. Alden’s a gifted story teller who fit an enormous amount of story in 24 pages, and I highly recommend this book.

Here’s a description from Retrofit to give you an idea of the story:

“An insular island community pulls an egg from a tidepool, from which hatches the apocalypse in the form of a vast, cruel chicken. Wicked Chicken Queen follows the violent societal collapse of the island under the reign of the chicken queen.”

You can pick up Wicked Chicken Queen from Retrofit Comics here: http://retrofit.storenvy.com/

- Ryan Catcher