I’m not sure why I’m generally not eager for 80s nostalgia. “I lived through it once,” I’ll jokingly say. But I had so much fun that decade. A lot of fun – that was a fantastic time for me in so many ways. But generally, 80s nostalgia seems too kitschy for me.
But… that was before I read AHOY Comic’s newest series, Planet of the Nerds. It’s a fun fish out-of-water story with a great premise: What if 80s jocks were put into today’s world, where Nerd culture is so dominant?
It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to imagine we live in time where there are two (2!) blockbuster Captain Marvel movies debuting within weeks of one another. Or that a Spider-Man cartoon could win an Oscar. It seems like yesterday when I’d sheepishly watch a cheesy 80s-based-on-comic-book TV show and think, “If only someone would ‘get it’, then this stuff could be great.”
AHOY’s been creating some great comics. And each one is unique and unexpected. It’s a treat to see their success. Their recent “Wave 2” comic, Bronze Age Boogie, was so packed with so much oddball enjoyment that I was worried that a clunker was due next. That’s just the law of averages, right? But clearly, Planet of the Nerds is another winner.
There’s so much here to like. Paul Constant’s writing is witty and insightful, without being preachy. There’s a back-up story that sheds light on one of the characters. The two prose pages are surprising and wonky. The art, by Alan Robinson in the main story and Randy Elliot in the back-up, employs a clever, if understated, technique to differentiate between the 80s and modern times. The attention to details like this (I’m also recalling Frank Cammuso’s Stinger stories in The Wrong Earth) send a signal that AHOY is working hard for both their inner ‘fussy reader’ and all fussy, or demanding, readers who purchase a copy.
AHOY’s marketing battle cry is #ExpectMore. Once again, this new publisher is over-delivering and living up to their own high standards.
Planet of the Nerds debuts April 17, 2019 at comic shops nationwide.