‘Sun Bakery: Fresh Collection’ - Trade Paperback Review

Right from the beginning of this anthology, writer/creator Corey Lewis admits that his brain can be kind of all over the place. Sun Bakery is his attempt to collect the projects that have arisen from those rather scattered thoughts, all in one place. The result is a number of strange and surreal worlds that don’t always make sense, but are nonetheless entertaining.

Lewis’ artwork is a bit abstract and kind of rough sometimes. This is apparently by choice, though. There are a few examples throughout the anthology of smoother, more polished artwork, but it quickly reverts back to the rougher style. It’s an interesting choice, but it does make things difficult to follow sometimes, particularly in the stories with very little exposition, which are almost entirely driven by the artwork.

The trick in this situation is to keep the story simple and straightforward, allowing the art to speak for itself. This is done very well in the first story, "Arem." Arem Lightstorm is an intergalactic adventurer who seeks out strange things on distant planets, in order to post pictures of them on social media. It’s a fun concept, and once it’s established, you don’t really need to know much else. The images tell the story perfectly.

The second story, "Dream Skills," is a lot more complicated, making it kind of hard to follow in places. Guns have been rendered harmless by a mysterious force known as an “Aura Circle,” so now everyone fights with swords instead. The story runs across several installments, and the rules and backstory seem to shift a bit from one to the next. There are a whole lot of different things going on, and a lot of different characters who, due to the drawing style, look mostly alike. You can’t always tell what’s going on in this one, but… Hey, it has swords! Swords improve just about any story.

Some of the stories are definitely better than others. In one called "Bat Rider," I’m not really sure at all what’s going on. Another one called "Layered Jacket" is very bizarre but actually a lot of fun once you get into it. A man named LJ has a jacket from which he can pull anything he can imagine. What he imagines and how he uses it is what makes the story so bizarre—and so entertaining.

There are also a couple of short, one-off stories, which Lewis calls “Comix Bursts.” My favorite of these is one called "Seedless" which is strange, thoughtful, and oddly charming. It has probably the crudest drawing in the anthology, but it’s also one of the best parts.

This comic probably isn’t for everyone, but there’s definitely a lot to like about it. If you don’t mind a little surrealism and want to take a look inside writer/creator Corey Lewis’ strange, somewhat scattered, but very talented mind, then you might want to check out Sun Bakery: Fresh Collection from Image Comics.

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