Makes The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (1989) look positively wholesome in comparison.



In this “origins” tale, a slug of liquid courage prompts nerdy Albert the wolf to seek justice as a costumed superhero against the three porcine Honeyroast brothers and their gangster dad Al Prosciutto.

Years after being bullied by the Honeyroasts at the Snobtown Academy, Albert has grown up to realize his dream of working for Wonder Comics (albeit as a janitor). Albert no sooner learns that his former nemeses are living high off the hog than a suspicious fire in one of their buildings kills all of his school buddies. Predictably depressed, he is fired up after a hobo offers a drink from a bottle in a brown paper bag (“It’s mighty powerful stuff. It’ll give you all the strength you’ll ever need…”). He dons a mask and cape made in his youth and sets out “to topple the towers of tyranny and to huff and puff and blow all asunder who stood in the way of righteousness.” Lie pairs cramped-looking blocks of small type with full-page or multi-paneled cartoon illustrations infused with murky red tones and printed on rough paper in grainy textures, giving them a dim, pulpy, retro look. “Yes, Albert would become the Lone Wolf,” the author concludes. “Hear his whistle.”

Makes The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (1989) look positively wholesome in comparison. (Picture book. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-907704-03-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nobrow Ltd.

Review Posted Online: April 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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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

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An entertaining testament to the enduring richness of “Peanuts” and the creativity it still inspires.

Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz

From the Peanuts series , Vol. 1

Celebrated cartoonists interpret the look, legacy, and worldview of the “Peanuts” comic strip in this vibrant homage to its creator.

In addition to a pantheon of iconic characters, images, and pratfalls, “Peanuts,” which ran from 1950 until the day after Schulz’s death in 2000, introduced groundbreaking themes of neurosis, failure, and unfulfillable longing into postwar America’s funny pages. This splendidly illustrated comic book gathers more than 40 modern cartoonists to explore in their own panels the impacts of these materials. Some, including contributions from Matt Groening and Tom Tomorrow, are straightforward tributes; others are single- or multipaged strips that tell complete stories using the “Peanuts” characters. Among the most amusing are Roger Langridge’s vignette of the Red Baron taking time out from World War I to get psychoanalyzed for his recurring apparent hallucinations of a flying beagle; Stan Sakai and Julie Fuji’s joyous account of Charlie Brown’s Tokyo outing with a Japanese girl; Terry Moore’s drolly deflating take on what would happen if Charlie Brown finally managed to make contact with the football; Zac Gorman’s hangdog scene of Lucy critiquing Charlie Brown’s dejected funeral oration; Jeremy Sorese’s probing meditation on the missing adults of “Peanuts,” grown from evocative recollections of his own childhood; Shaenon K. Garrity’s hilarious tale of a collective nervous breakdown precipitated by Lucy’s remorseless truth-telling; and a Lovecraft-ian epic by Evan Dorkin and Derek Charm, told through Charlie Brown’s letters to his pencil-pal—“Things here are the same. I am hated and alone”—as the ordinary quirks of the “Peanuts”-verse twist themselves into subtle, sinister portents of a demonic netherworld. Some of the cartoonists work in their own distinctive styles—from the perspectival naturalism of Chris Schweizer’s WWI tableaux to Tony Millionaire’s verminous, bug-eyed Charlie Brown and Snoopy portraits—while others imitate the Schulz-ian look. The admiration these artists feel for Schulz is palpable, as are the potency and versatility of his comic inventions. As the cartoonists take Schulz’s ideas in fresh new directions, the reader still feels that they are revealing dimensions that always existed within Schulz’s vision.

An entertaining testament to the enduring richness of “Peanuts” and the creativity it still inspires. 

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60886-714-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

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