Cola Pop Creemees, The: Opening ActByDesmond Reed, 240 pgs.

Jul 21, 2023

A collection of comics about the fictional psychedelic band that lives in a giant hand, The Cola Pop Creemees. The band consists of five members—drug-dealing blowhard Wallace T.J., neurotic weirdo Ralph Jonathan, gentle Gil Christopher, spacey ex-party girl, Mona Gertrude, and shy little Henrietta Susan. 

If their weird-ass names didn’t give it away, this comic is very weird! All the main characters look like they’re made of play-dough and interact with somewhat realistic people in these stories. There are a lot of psychedelic drawings showing off the characters’ frustrations or inner thoughts. 

What originally threw me off about this comic is these five band members only really interact with each other on the first couple of pages and the rest of the book is them going off on separate little bizarre, dramatic, and sad adventures. Some involve babysitting, visiting family over holidays, being bad at your job, coffee shop crushes, and lost loves.

I mentioned how the artwork is weird before but it must be stressed, IT’S WEIRD! The bold-lined minimal black and white art is very entrancing with a lot of full-panel close-ups of the characters’ faces and their arms noodling out all over every which way. You’ve got to hand it to Reed for making a comic as wild-looking as this while also keeping the beats of compelling, funny, sweet, and sometimes tragic stories. (Although, I did have trouble following for the first couple of pages.) I think it takes time for your eyes and brain to adjust to many-panels-few-words style. I got used to it and now look forward to future issues of this series. –Rick V. (