Put equal parts indie street-cred, rock and roll, and high school students into a blender and whip up yourself a tasty treat. You’ll then have some idea what it’s like to read Beyond The Sky’s The Limit, a comic written by and for the students from So. Cal’s Widney High, a school for students with special needs. First came the band, then the documentary film, and now their very own comic, written with each of the “Kids’” thoughts and ideas translated into beautifully rendered black and white drawings in a quality comic book, available at http://comicsareevil.com/Ux, www.thecomicbug.com, and www.floatingworldcomics.com.
The story concerns the individual members of the KOWH rock band saving the world from the evil Professor Groofball by way of detective work, superhero powers, and good old-fashioned rock n roll. A shifting perspective accompanies shifting artists across the entire book, telling the story of LA detectives working an ethnic war between the russian, italian, irish, chinese, and japanese crime gangs; the president of the united states fighting crime wiht a ray that zaps criminals to the death planet, Professor Groofball and his messianic hostage; and superheroes Tony Whitfield and Cain Fonesca flying across the city to save them all in time to perform as The Kids Of Widney High in a concert that will teach the world about respect and love.
Themes about ability, caring, hope and respect for our fellow man abound in this fun romp through the eyes of some kids with special needs who have found a way to rock with the best of them while having a great time and setting an example for the rest of us. In the words of one member of The Kids of Widney High, “We may all be disabled, whether you have a physical disability of not. Some of us are disabled spiritually, emotionally, mentally. maybe all three!”
As a comic, this book shows off a range of artistic styles and talent that I found to be visually stimulating. Each artist draws the subject matter with an energy and intensity that isnt’ always found even in mainstream comic books. From line-drawn caricature to sketch-like realism, the book captures a wide range of emotional beats. The story itself takes a couple of reads to fully “get” what’s going on, but I recommend the effort. Like most teen creative efforts, the writing represented here has the marks of talent in progress, with hints of greatness to be fully developed in the future. The themes and values espoused across all the story lines are fully realized and timely, though, making a second and even third read through enjoyable and worth the time.
The Kids of Widney High Comic shoots for the sky, and beyond, as do its real world protagonists. A reminder for us all to take a moment to realize how similar we all are, regardless of ability. These kids rock just as hard as anyone else, and now have shown that they can bring that energy and sense of fun to the comics world as well. Here’s hoping that we’ll see a second issue soon!
Be sure to check out their website here: http://comicsareevil.com/Pw and read more about them on Wikipedia here: http://comicsareevil.com/ha. Then be sure to check out the trailer for their very own movie, coming soon.