By Brandy Dykhuizen. Set in a drizzly small town nestled into the Pacific Northwest’s coastline, Misfit City is the story of a group of teenage girls whose weekly poker night is interrupted by the lure of adventure. While clearly inspired by ’80s kids movies like The Goonies and The Monster Squad, Misfit City avoids being derivative by addressing its primary influence head-on and building around it.
Cannon Cove is a sleepy seaside town that makes a living dragging in oysters and tourists who want to pose for selfies at the filming location of The Gloomies. Wilder, Karma, Macy, Dot and Ed lead lives that largely revolve around serving the outsiders who treat their town like an oddity. One day, all the movie silliness seems to come true when a local legend bequeaths a mysterious chest to the film museum in which Macy works.
Suddenly the girls have a bonafide mystery on their hands, complete with a treasure map and a Cruella DeVille-style villain on their heels. Kirsten Smith’s and Kurt Lustgarden’s story is exciting and sweet, filled with the types of friends you wish you had at your side in high school. Naomi Franquiz draws achingly expressive faces that can elicit a giggle before you even read the punchline.
If this all sounds too saccharine, I can assure you it isn’t – the gang has just enough edge to counterbalance all this doe-eyed wonder.
Reclaiming the adventure narrative from the usual boy’s romp, these young ladies are decked out with all the brains, curiosity and quirkiness needed to heal the cove, rock out the Shuck Fest and beat the bad guys to the hidden treasure. Armed with a scimitar, an ancient map, and a pup named Pip, the Misfit City crew hauls us willingly into their gloomy Northwestern adventure.
Written by Kiwi Smith and Kurt Lustgarden.
Art by Naomi Franquiz.
Colors by Brittany Peer.
Letters by Jim Campbell.
8.5 out of 10