Published by Kaboom! From a ton of writers and artists. Collecting so many issues in a giant 560 page hardcover collection.
(The Steven Universe collections Punching Up and Warp Tour include the same stories, but for a much cheaper price.)
My son discovered Steven Universe and our lives were never the same again. It’s an amazing cartoon that isn’t just an adventure here, some silliness over here. It is about relationships, and feelings, and dealing with them. Steven fights epic battles against gems from another world all while being half gem himself. The Crystal Gems who raised him have been alive for thousands of years but it is only through Steven’s heart, his greatest power of all, that they understand what it’s like to be human. We may not live for thousands of years but we have the capability for thousands of years worth of triumphs and tragedies within our life spans. The show is one of the best things I’ve discovered thanks to being a parent and will be something I revisit for my entire life.
This comic collection is thankfully lighter hearted. There are many quick adventures around 5-8 pages each. “The bits.” Catching a corrupted gem. Silly times with other humans in the town. Every one of these stories could be added to the animated series as a new 11 minute episode that we enjoyed every second.
But, because this is Steven, there are also some heavy emotional stories in here. A glass monster that is hurting everyone, but maybe not on purpose. One of the best weapons Steven have is his ability to listen. He doesn’t just stop the bad guy from attacking. He asks why the attack is happening at all. What is the hurt, what is the pain? Often this leads to the enemy becoming a friend.
In another story, Stevonnie – the fusion of Steven and Connie (there’s a lot to explain about the cartoon, but that’s for another time) hangs out with local teen Kiki. Kiki is beginning to develop feelings for Stevonnie and hard decisions have to be made. How does anyone tell another person how they truly feel knowing it might hurt? Steven and Connie debate hurting themselves just to spare Kiki any embarrassment or pain.
Thankfully my favorite (unofficial) couple, Lapis and Peridot, team with Steven to save a baby bird. It may be simple but it’s really a beautiful story about raising a child together and knowing when to let that child fly free.
The art style changes from story to story. While none of it is an exact copy of the cartoon’s animation every artist stays true to the style and movement that is the series.
The book is huge, and yeah it’s pricy. But it is full of so much fun and joy. If you’re a fan of the show add this collection next to your DVDs and any figures so you can have a little more Steven in your life now that the show is over.