The ADVENTURE TIME annual is a testament to how delightful (and popular!) the series is -- more than 15 creators pooled their talents to make this anthology-style issue happen, and it's obvious that they had fun doing so.
Each story is both true to the land of Ooo and specific to its creative team, continuing the precedent set in the series' back-up stories and tie-in miniseries. It's fun to flip through and see Finn and Jake in Dustin Nguyen's watercolors on one page and in Jason Ho's bright, bold illustrations on the next.
The stories are equally diverse on the writing side -- the book is a sampler of whimsical poems, longer narrative adventures, and short stories framed in games. All are appropriate for a range of ages, and each story has a little something extra (including some comical almost-lessons).
Non-germane to anything in particular, the lemonling in "The Lemon Sea" is positively adorable, and warrants a mention just because. (Hey, this is an ADVENTURE TIME review -- I'm allowed to go a little off-script!)
Noticeably missing: the ladies of Ooo. Fans of the series' female characters will be bummed by the omission of Bubblegum, Marceline, and LSP -- the annual is decidedly very Finn-and-Jake-heavy, and the ladies only make appearances on the covers.
This annual is wacky, it's irreverent, it's educational, and it's FUN. Fans of the animated series and comics will find familiar faces (minus the ladies!) and fresh stories from a range of creators. It's a solid all-ages book, and a great sample of the quirky humor ADVENTURE TIME is known for.