‘Bubble’ Review: Podcast to Graphic Novel, Beware the Mutated Imps


Imagine going out for your morning run, and a mutated imp attacks you. So, you have to fight it off while making sure it doesn’t kill the guy attempting to hit on you but is now screaming from fear. Well, that is Morgan’s life. She cannot ignore the fight and her love of knives, but she wants to live a boring existence.

First Second

Morgan lives in the dome Fairhaven created by a corporation called Tandem. Yes, I said dome. She lives on an alien planet that humans have developed various settlements on. Tandem creates multiple domes with different ways of life. In Fairhaven, you can find excellent but expensive coffee and go out for trivia nights with friends. Living in the domes, you are literally in a bubble hidden away from the outside world with only the occasional imp attack, but not everyone lives in one of the established domes. There are camps of humans in the “Brush” outside the domes in the wild.

Morgan shares a place with Annie, her polyamorous sarcastic roommate with pink hair who occasionally makes drugs from the remains of the mutated imps. Then there is Van, her ex. He is into parkour, guitar and has an infectious energy about him. Finally, we cannot forget Mitch; he went on two or three dates with Annie and is still crushing hard. But their mildly exciting lives are about to change thanks to a new app called Huntr.

First Second

Tandem created the app Huntr for people to sign up to and get alerts and requests to fight the imps that are more frequently appearing in Fairhaven. Through the app, the more ratings you get, the more hunts come your way. The way to get ratings is from the people you save, so while you are fighting for your and their lives, better do it with flair and theatrics for that rating. Of course, Mitch signs up and eventually teams up with Morgan, who, as someone who grew up in the Brush, has the experience and knowledge on what they are fighting. This new side job becomes more than it appears, and the group ends up going to the Brush and other domes on a secret mission.

That is what makes this sci-fi comedy podcast the perfect story to transfer to a graphic novel. I loved the part where the three guys at trivia night get turned into a very opinionated mutated creature called the beard. The way those three characters looked instantly reminded me of Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy from The Adventure Zone, another favorite podcast, which had me laughing more. I really hope this becomes a graphic novel series!

Bubble, the graphic novel from First Second, is written by Jordan Morris and Sarah Morgan, illustrated by Tony Cliff and colorist Natalie Riess. It is based on a podcast with the same name. If you want to know more about the podcast, you can check out our 2019 interview with Morris.

Great news! If you want more Bubble content, tune into the Comic-Con@Home on Sunday, July 25, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. PT where there will be a panel called The Adventure Zone and Bubble: Podcasts to Comics. The panel will have Travis McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Carey Pietsch from The Adventure Zone: The Crystal Kingdom, and Jordan Morris, Sarah Morgan, and Tony Cliff from Bubble as they talk about their graphic novels and the transition from podcast to page. The panel will be moderated by the editor of both books, Alison Wilgus.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader’s copy. Bubble graphic novel is out now; you can get your copy here, and don’t forget to check out the podcast on Maximum Fun while you’re at it.

As a Ravenclaw and introverted tattooed cat, Sarah enjoys reading, writing, and watching hockey (Go Leafs Go). You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @WyldeFandom

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