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TEEN BOAT! by Dave Roman


From the Teen Boat! series, volume 1

by Dave Roman & illustrated by John Green

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-547-63669-6
Publisher: Clarion

He’s a teen... and a boat.

This overly ambitious and often downright odd graphic novel introduces the not-too-creatively named Teen Boat. This is a young man for whom the ordinary trials and tribulations of adolescence are amplified by his bizarre nautical alter-ego, which he turns into if he gets any liquid in his ear. In an effort to fit in at his stereotypical high school where the jocks get the hot girls, the punk kids are anarchists and the goth kids moodily mope around, Teen Boat tries to use his transforming abilities to achieve popularity. He lets the in-crowd throw a party on him when he is in his boat form; this, of course, ends disastrously. He tries to get a driver’s license, but his jerky driving maneuvers lead to his evaluator’s coffee accidentally spilling in his ear, resulting in a calamitous outcome. This is very much a comic for adolescent boys: Humor is often sophomoric, and most of the girls—with the exception of Teen Boat’s best friend—are busty caricatures. While some of the jokes will indeed induce a chuckle or two, many are stretched to the point of exhaustion, leaving readers ho-humming rather than haw-hawing. The peculiar concept and campy jokes create a strange blend, sort of Archie meets the Transformers—a puzzling combination, indeed.

Puerile and odd, this concept doesn’t float. (Graphic fiction. 12-15)