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Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual 2017: JEM. IN. SPACE!

Written by Ashley Leckwold on Tuesday, January 31 2017 and posted in Reviews

Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual 2017: JEM. IN. SPACE!

Live fast, die young, and leave an exquisite corpse.

Source: IDW Publishing

Written by: Kelly Thompson

Art by: Gisele Lagace, M.J. Barros, M. Victoria Robado, Katarzyna Witerscheim, and Savanna Ganucheau

Colors by: Jason Millet, Gisele Lagace, M.J. Barros, M. Victoria Robado, Katarzyna Witerscheim, and Savanna Ganucheau

Letters by: Shawn Lee

The previous Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual was a super fun story poking loving fun at 80s movies all while our exhausted heroes dreamed peacefully. This year's Outrageous Annual took it to another level though by presenting the story as an Exquisite Corpse.

No, no one is dead or a zombie, but rather the Starlight Girls decided to create a comic about Jem and the Holograms being space heroes by utilizing the creation method known as "exquisite corpse." Shana does a great explanation of it within the comic using the example of a dress, but basically think of it as a round robin story, but the previous collaborators only get to see the previous sentence.

While the way the annual was written was not like that (Kelly Thompson wrote the entire thing), the various styles of art lend themselves well to the conceit. It's especially nice to see regular series colorist M. Victoria Robado do her own art as well in an especially adorable chibified section where Aja faces Jetta in gladiatorial combat. Plus, you can tell Thompson had a lot of fun coming up with ridiculous ways to have the Holograms pal around in space in order to save Stormer and return the heart to Majestrix Pizzazz.


The Starlight Girls are a group that haven't gotten a lot of focus in the series, so reading an annual that is reflective of their imaginations and personalities is a real breath of fresh air after the arcs involving all the inner band drama. To also see it in a way that loving and gleefully embraces not only the silliness of the original Jem series, but fanfiction as well is a heartwarming thing to read. At no point to the Holograms find the story weird (barring Jerrica in the middle of her split personality crisis with Jem), but instead praise and encourage the girls for their creativity. Though they do make sure that it wasn't just made to get out of rehearsal!

With a super fun read that wholly embraces fanworks and collaboration, Jem and the Holograms Outrageous Annual 2017 is a joyful space odyssey that gladly embraces all of its weird turns. Cute art and fashion design abound in this exquisite corpse, and is an especially nice and light-hearted read, even if you've been behind on Jem and the Holograms like I was before reading this.


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About the Author - Ashley Leckwold

Ashley Leckwold is a writer based out of Atlanta who is the cross-section of a magical girl and a demon queen. She has done a whole other host of weirdness, including work at Steampunk Chronicle, Nerdophiles, the Ratchet Retrocast, The Rainbow Hub, PopOptiq and the Killer Queen and 27 anthologies published through Red Stylo Media. Most of her current work is non-fictional and found at her blog as well as Graphic Policy. She can often be found on Twitter at @misskittyf crying about comics, TV, pro-wrestling and music.

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