TREASURE ISLAND

“Woohoo. Treasure Island, here we come!” So crows young Jim Hawkins in this notably lame and jumbled graphic adaptation of Stevenson’s classic. Crowding variously sized panels and sometimes-misplaced dialogue balloons atop one another, Kohlrus illustrates the tale with jumbles of generally static figures in ragged (but apparently freshly laundered) clothing and scenes of hard-to-follow action. The sound-bite dialogue is largely incidental to Jim’s severely truncated narrative, which is broken up into multiple captions on every page, includes unnecessary footnotes (“The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands in the Gulf of Mexico”) and gives the whole outing a feeling of being told rather than shown. No competition for the robust adaptations of Tim Hamilton (2005) or Roy Thomas (2008), nor does it measure up to the standards set by the same publisher’s adaptation of Moby Dick, adapted by Lance Stahlberg and illustrated by Lalit Kumar Singh (ISBN: 978-93-80028-22-4). (Graphic fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: July 6, 2010

ISBN: 978-93-80028-21-7

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An action-packed, tongue-in-cheek romp fitted out with snarky dialogue, heroic fantasy tropes aplenty and a notably...

PANDEMONIUM

A supposed village lad kidnapped to stand in for the vanished prince he resembles rises to the challenge. More or less.

Set in a Darkling Realm of horned, bat-winged people, the tale takes young Seifer Tombchewer (his name inherited from an ancestor who went bonkers after eating “something poisonous that fell asleep in his porridge”) to the royal palace of Pandemonium, where he’s given the choice of temporarily masquerading as Prince Talon or being fed to “psycho carnage beasts.” Making the reasonable choice entails learning how to behave like an arrogant, selfish twit—as well as being mauled by “his” gigantic pet cat, surviving assassination attempts, outbelching the chieftain of a neighboring warrior clan and defeating an invading army. Fortunately, he does have allies, including his royal “sister” Princess Hypoxia and magic-wielding girlfriend-to-be Lady Carcassa, daughter of gambling addict Baron Canasta Malefica. Interspersing outsized GRNARGH! BLORP! SOOG! YAAAAAA! sound effects with scenes featuring sharp-featured, elegantly slender figures, debut illustrator Diaz crafts panels of Japanese comics–style art for Wooding’s somewhat less-than-earnest adventure story. The real prince’s continued absence, a hint of secrets in Seifer’s own past and the sudden arrival of “his” fiancée Lady Asphyxia point to sequels.

An action-packed, tongue-in-cheek romp fitted out with snarky dialogue, heroic fantasy tropes aplenty and a notably resilient protagonist. (Graphic novel. 11-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-25221-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

AKIKO ON THE PLANET SMOO

Opening episodes of a comic-book series created by an American teacher in Japan take a leap into chapter-book format, with only partial success. Resembling—in occasional illustrations—a button-eyed, juvenile Olive Oyl, Akiko, 10, is persuaded by a pair of aliens named Bip and Bop to climb out her high-rise bedroom’s window for a trip to M&M-shaped Planet Smoo, where Prince Fropstoppit has been kidnapped by widely feared villainness Alia Rellaport. Along with an assortment of contentious sidekicks, including brainy Mr. Beeba, Akiko battles Sky Pirates and video-game-style monsters in prolonged scenes of cartoony violence, displaying resilience, courage, and leadership ability, but not getting very far in her rescue attempt; in fact, the story cuts off so abruptly, with so little of the quest completed, and at a lull in the action to boot, that readers expecting a self-contained (forget complete) story are likely to feel cheated. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2000

ISBN: 0-385-32724-2

Page Count: 162

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more