The Teen Boat graphic novels have such a perfect premise that they almost don’t read as parody.
The main character of the series turns into a boat when he gets water in his ear. It’s not much sillier than the Ranma 1/2 comics, whose characters can switch gender or turn into pandas. But the concept is so hilarious that no story could possibly live up to it. Where do you go after someone has turned into a boat? In this case, Teen Boat joins the football team, competes in a boat race, and tries to find other boats like him. It’s engaging enough but not especially funny. There are, of course, puns, and they’re all unforgivable. (“I’ve always been the boat of everyone’s jokes.”) A greater problem than bad puns is that Teen Boat’s actions are often indefensible. He passes over his best friend to date a cheerleader, then immediately asks his friend to dump her date and dance with him. The plot moves much too slowly, but sometimes the book is exactly as ridiculous as it ought to be. When Teen Boat is stranded in the middle of a dry football field, with a tiny team uniform on his prow, even a terrible pun can’t spoil the joke.
Bright spots aside, this parody of self-obsessed teen protagonists is so successful it gives readers no cause to root for the hero. (Graphic fantasy. 12-15)