I first came across Aaron Renier’s work in Spiral Bound, and with it developed an instant affection for his storytelling. I loved the readability and distinctness of his characters, the rambunctious, breathless pacing of the adventure, and the unique mix of influences that lends Renier’s work an instantly familiar mood.
When he joined First Second with The Unsinkable Walker Bean, Aaron brought all that and more to the Long John Silver genre—reinventing it in the process and producing a work that belongs in every collection of the very best perennial comics for young readers.
There are many qualities I delight in when I read Aaron’s pages. One of them is his generosity. As a writer and as an artist, he spills over with extra—extra story, extra details, extra discovery… And not just in his now famous “Waldo” spread… Click to enlarge and get lost inside this one:
Aaron Renier’s Walker Bean gives and gives and gives some more… Though he plays with all the tropes of the pirate yarn, he illuminates it with so many magic little flourishes that it becomes something uniquely his.
Renier’s panels yield their treasures over many readings, and with revisiting I especially feel the author’s exuberant, childlike pleasure at drawing, at inking, at telling his story…
Aaron Renier packs in an astonishing amount of invention into his books, and Walker Bean’s world is replete with animated objects, ancient creatures, and more devices and contraptions than you’d find in Diagon Alley… His sketchbooks alone are bewildering that way.
I’m so proud we publish Walker Bean and the next one is appearing a page at a time, and I can promise you, it’s every bit as magnificent.
Mr. Renier isn’t done giving.