Good morning everyone,
It has been awhile since There She Grows has covered a BustArtist comic. The last one was reviewed in January 2019. Furthermore, in BustArtist’s recent interview he stated that “… the new series is a completely new story, with new characters, a definite storyline, and proper ending. It has more in-depth characters and has the most in-depth world building of any of my grOw series.” That description sounds like something right up my alley. Therefore, it’s high time to take a look at his new series!
(SIDE NOTE: For that earlier review of an older BustArtist comic check out this look at grOw/cinema “The Ever-Expanding Universe” Episode 1. Additionally, you can read the interview with BustArtist here.)
BustArtist’s most recent creation is grOw/cinema 2: grOwing to a Crescendo Episode I: “Overture.” It is composed of 69 color pages, called “frames,” and was released on March 26th this year. Sadly, despite the number of pages, there were in fact *zero* depictions of the 69 position 😥
The action begins with our protagonist having a drink at his local bar and telling the bartender, who is privy to his secret, that he has recently been laid off. (NOTE: A main character losing their job has been a depressingly relevant trope in recent size-fetish works. The trope also featured in Tuesday’s review.)
I was happy to see thoughtful inclusions made to the background. For instance, during that opening scene at the bar the following text was printed on the wall:
I was unfamiliar with the lyrics and initially thought that BustArtist wrote them himself and then fabricated the source of the quote as a fictional person called “Purpendiculr.” However, they were actually taken from the real band “Purpendiculr” and their song “Grow.” Folks can listen to that song at this link on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaA4TYIAj7g
Other real-world references include lyrics from the songs “Good Vibrations” from The Beach Boys, “Move, Shake, Drop” by Pitbull, “Entangled” from Genesis, etc. Those added character and made the place feel real. However, I did have a quibble as to why the text for the “Specials” was unintelligible markings when text of a smaller size was perfectly legible, as can be seen in the following:
There’s no origin given at the beginning for the protagonist Harmon. That bit comes at the end. He begins this comic already aware of his unusual gift to alter the size and shape of himself and others.
In contrast to the real names of musicians, the pseudonym MacRonald was used to represent the famous fast-food chain. I suppose that’s because McDonald’s might be more likely to sue than musicians? Maybe BustArtist is unfamiliar with Metallica and their famously litigious tendencies! 😉 (NOTE: Not that Metallica itself was quoted, but the point being that many musical personalities, and trade organizations like the RIAA, are infamous for suing people.)
I would have preferred if the references were more consistent, one way or the other. Either always use pseudonyms for publicly known entities or never use pseudonyms. However, that’s not a significant issue. And it is true that wealthy corporations have the power to sue and shut down small creators regardless of whether those actions are warranted. Thus, I can understand a reluctance to use real names.
This comic reminded me of 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” when Harmon encountered a young lady named Melody who has a similar size-changing ability. During Into the Spider-Verse, the alternate universe versions of Spider-Man recognized each other, via “Spider-sense,” as being Spider-Men and Spider-Women. In a similar fashion, Harmon feels an instant connection with Melody. Although, at first he doesn’t understand why.
I don’t want to give away the ending; so, I’ll just mention that a threat arises and that groundwork for an eventual confrontation was established.
In summation, this episode provided two sex scenes and did a good job building a world of size-changing heroes and villains. There was breast, butt, and penis growth, but height growth was minimal. There were no giant people per se or clothing destruction. The art was good throughout and demonstrated BustArtist’s “nearly painted” style.
Regarding potential improvements, I do have a few suggestions. For one there was a slight art continuity mistake when the headboard for Harmon’s bed disappeared on page 52, but instantly reappeared on page 53.
In a stylistic choice, I would have preferred if Harmon’s apartment had something on the walls to make it look lived in. I claim that’s a “stylistic choice,” because he doesn’t have to put anything up. It’s not like the police will break down his front door and force him to decorate under penalty of imprisonment. Nonetheless, my impression upon looking at his walls is that the place was a hotel and not an apartment. Although, that said, even hotels usually put some things up.
Further falling under the category of personal choices, I’m not a fan of butt growth when it reaches the point where an ass becomes completely spherical, and rather inhuman, as in the following:
Although, I feel confident assuming that many readers will not mind such “bubble butts.”
One final item on the topic of artwork, and the item least likely to be changed, I would have preferred if multiple panels had been used to show growth. Instead, there were only extra lines drawn in the single panel to indicate the increase. Like so:
To be clear, it was established at the onset, as can be seen below, that the grOw/cinema series would use single panels as opposed to multiple variously-sized panels per page. Nonetheless, the growth sequences suffer because of that.
Obviously, I recognize that adding multiple panels in an otherwise single panel per page comic would be a dramatic shift. Furthermore, it is well-known that most American legal jurisdictions would treat such a shift as an offense worse than ripping the tag off a mattress when you’re not the consumer! Surely, such an egregious assault on the foundations of democracy would warrant the police breaking down BustArtist’s front door and forcing him to change it back. BUUUTTTT… if somehow, *maybe* a way could be found then I think that would make the transformation sequences a bit better.
On the topic of continuity errors there was also a bit in which Harmon thought to himself that “She’s shrunk quite a bit in the past few hours,” but on the very next page he thinks “Oh, shit! She’s awake! And she hasn’t shrunk-”
So, which was it? Did she become smaller or not? Perhaps readers were meant to interpret those two different descriptions as an indication that Harmon lacked awareness, but he was looking at her in the bright morning light. Why wouldn’t he be aware of her size? (NOTE: It could be that she did shrink quite a bit, but then his next thought after she woke up was going to be “And she hasn’t shrunk enough!” However, since his thought was never finished it was a clear contradiction as written.)
All those points noted, this was still quite an enjoyable comic and well-worth the price. It’s superior to its predecessor because this has a plot involving conflict. Compare that to Cinema 1 when the protagonist has unlimited power. For all intents and purposes he was a God. Thus, it was hard to care about the story, because his desired outcome was always assured. DC Comics resolved a similar issue by giving Superman several villains with powers that rivaled his own. The alternative, Superman defeating common street thugs day in, day out, would have rapidly become boring.
Overall, I recommend this comic to breast expansion and gentle growth fans! The artwork sets this apart from its peers and the story is also significantly more developed than others of its ilk. You can purchase grOw/cinema 2: grOwing to a Crescendo Episode I: “Overture” for $9.95 at the following link: http://www.bustartist.com/store/index.html
That’s it for now folks. Next week’s reviews will begin with “Big Girls” from Image Comics. Until then, keep growing!
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