REVIEW: ‘Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments #2 - But Why Tho?

Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments #2 is a kickstarted sci-fi comic written by Greg Gustin with art by Kaylee Rowena and letters by Joamette Gil. The short at the end of the issue: “Zeef the Nardonian in ‘Curse of the Unheard Man'” has art by Kelsey Ramsay. The series follows a sci-fi surf-rock band in the small town of Madre Bay as mysterious things begin happening to their bay and local politicians act as sleazy as can be.

Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments #2 is mostly a big setup for the zany plot surely to come. It gives the reader a chance to get to know the main character, Milt, just a little bit better while seeing how his different relationship dynamics play out. It also digs local scummy politician Skip Biddle into a deeper hole of grossness while painting everyone’s favorite Madre Bay resident, Mudhook, as the clear voice of good and reason in town. The plot is on the thinner side, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t hooked me into the series.

The only thing I wish I’d seen more of this issue was the band itself. While they do spend some time practicing and hanging out together, an important part in building their characters and dynamics, if the premise of the book is that they’re a sci-fi surf-rock band, I want to see some more of that. Nonetheless, their banter throughout the first half of the issue in both text message and in-person is great.

I loved the creative way the team wove text conversations together with a flashback sequence. The two timeframes were perfectly overlayed with the text messages from the present easy to follow at the same time that the flashback sequence and its dialogue were occurring. It was not only a creative and well-delivered dialogue and story mechanism, but it also helped illustrate really well the distinction between what Milt was telling his friends and what was actually happening.

The art in this issue continues to really fit the vibe of the series. The characters are all drawn with hair, clothes, postures, and faces that just feel relaxed like the beach atmosphere they live in. The yellows and oranges of the backgrounds also perfectly capture the mood during the daytime sequences. However, while I really appreciate the shades of purple used during the nighttime scenes, they’re not realistic background colors for nighttime at the beach, but they do help marry the sci-fi and beach moods pretty well. There occasionally feels like too much text in a given panel; I’d prefer to see more and read a bit less, but the dialogue itself is always well written. It just feels like it would perhaps better fit a novel with how verbose it gets occasionally. The lettering matches all of the atmosphere as well, sitting just right between sci-fi and beachy. The SFX throughout the issue accent certain moments just right, especially a set of broken musical symbols floating past a bandmate who’s hitting the wrong notes.

The short at the end of the issue, “Zeef the Nardonian in ‘Curse of the Unheard Man'” is a creative story, similar to the previous issue’s in that it is a pastiche of an old comic genre with some modern twists. It’s a story about a barbarian who would rather make music than war. The story is sweet ultimately, but the art is gorgeous. It’s done in a watercolor style and I especially appreciate the way the art evolves with the story itself.

Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments #2 is not a momentous follow-up necessarily, but it is a good setup for what will surely develop into a rather wacky series. Its ending is a great cliffhanger, and the slower pace of the issue is compensated for with great character-building opportunity and art.

Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments #2 is available now digitally.

Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments #2
4.5

TL;DR

Dr. Love Wave and the Experiments #2 is not a momentous follow-up necessarily, but it is a good setup for what will surely develop into a rather wacky series. Its ending is a great cliffhanger, and the slower pace of the issue is compensated for with great character-building opportunity and art.