I don’t get much excited over comics, but then again, comics like Frank Espinosa’s ROCKETO don’t come along every day. This is without doubt one of the most awesome books I’ve seen in a long while, and it’s one of my favorite discoveries from last weekend in San Diego. I was prepared for a letdown as soon as I saw ROCKETO’s cover because there’s no way the interior art could live up to such a masterful drawing, right? Well, what an incredible surprise to open it up and find an entire comic that looks like this. Every page of ROCKETO is a jaw-drop gorgeous work of cartoon art, with tight drawing, color and design throughout. The expressive use of color and rhythmical black inks give the book a distinctive feel that defies comparison to any other current American comic; you have to look at European comics to find anything that remotely resembles ROCKETO’s stylish cartoon sensibility.
I was equally surprised to find out Espinosa’s background: until recently, he’d been drawing Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, et al, at WB Consumer Products. Among other things he was responsible for the Looney Tunes USPS stamps and (get ready for this) the original designs for Baby Looney Tunes. Now, fortunately for us, he’s out of there and working on his own projects. In San Diego, Frank debuted ROCKETO #0, a short 16-page introduction to the series. ROCKETO #1 is out in August from Speakeasy Comics. Looks like I have a reason to start dropping by Meltdown again.