SUN BAKERY #1 BY COREY LEWIS
Art
Characterization
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Summary
SUN BAKERY is the Shonen Jump-inspired three-story anthology, all made by Corey Lewis!
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BRIGHT LO-FI ADVENTURES!
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Three stories, one writer. SUN BAKERY #1 follows the beginning installments of these epic adventures by Corey Lewis, the one-man band who writes, edits and illustrates the anthology.

SUN BAKERY #1

Lewis decided to tell these stories in compact bursts after finishing the second Sharknife graphic novel—a tale about a “mysterious protector” who defends The Guangdong Factory, a restaurant producing a massive quantity of peach dumplings.  “SUN BAKERY is a way for me to collect those stories under one roof, with a kind of shared energy. A shared universe, even,” Lewis said in an interview with Image Comics.

After beginning as a Kickstarter, and following its immense success selling out in its debut with Press Gang in 2016, Image Comics is now publishing SUN BAKERY, with the first issue being released on February 22.

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In the first issue, we are introduced to three totally different scenarios: In “Arem,” we meet a space explorer intent on discovering all she can when a wrong step lands her in trouble. “Dream Skills” goes into an alternate reality-type scenario, where guns are obsolete — for reasons undisclosed because spoilers — and swords are revolutionized and reinvented as both the desired choice of weapon and a sought after symbol of status. SUN BAKERY #1 concludes with “Bat Rider,” about a dude barely making it out there, plagued by thoughts of his ex-girlfriend and nudges from his sentient skateboard.

SUN BAKERY #1

These Shonen Jump-esque stories are captured in an eye-gasmic feast of a high-intensity palette. Lewis seems to tell the story through color and style, more so than plot, using colors to create different moods. The deep blues and purples in “Arem” hearken to the meditative darkness of space; “Dream Skills” emphasizes its brighter, lighthearted mood with its pinks and yellows. However, “Bat Rider” is an exception, portrayed in black and white, reflective of that nostalgic manga approach.

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The approach here is East-meets-West (not the comic), a middle ground between manga and Western art styles, and some video game references to boot.  Lewis takes a more minimalist approach with line weights, in an incredibly organic and expressive way. The style lends itself to larger panels to intensify the stories unfolding before the reader. Altogether, it makes for reading stories that seem to spring directly from the creator’s head, in a lucid dream-like state, and it’s quite pleasant.

SUN BAKERY #1

I guess my only question is, should one man really have all the fun? Lewis makes this look amazing, but he isn’t the first to salute Shonen Jump or to fuse Eastern and Western graphic storytelling styles. There are tons of other artists out there who’ve dived into similar styles of art and stories, and an anthology is strengthened by variety. It would be particularly amazing to see SUN BAKERY evolve into an anthology where readers get to experience a fusion of Lewis’s style with similar spins done by others around the globe. Call it a ”one-man Shonen Jump” if you will, and it’s certainly a lovely compilation, but without collaboration, it’s more aptly described as “Shonen Jump-inspired.”

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All in all, Lewis embraces some of the niches of today’s nerd-meets-pop culture and paints for us a vivid portrayal of these fantasies that we would totally love to live out. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a space explorer or walk around with Katana 7.6? We’ll live vicariously through these comics, Lewis. It’ll be exciting to see where SUN BAKERY goes and what new story-gems will be introduced.

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