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KONG by Joe Devito


King of Skull Island

by Joe Devito & Brad Strickland & illustrated by Joe Devito

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2012
Publisher: Copyright 1957

Positively awash in high melodrama, this digital version of an “authorized” sequel takes readers back to Skull Island for a flashback to Kong’s early years.

Drawn from DeVito’s 2005 illustrated print edition, passages of abridged text scroll manually over close-up views of lurid paintings and sketches depicting toothy monsters and buff natives. The tale strands two latter-day (mid-1950s, that is) explorers on the island. There, one views ancient murals and statues, and the other hears from an old storyteller a rousing tale of heroic young lovers witnessing a titanic battle between Kong’s parents and a killer dino named Gaw. An incomplete tale, the adventure stops at a cliffhanger that is signaled by a blare of organ music and a promo for an upcoming Part 2. Aside from the opening and closing screens there is no animation, but abundant zooms, dissolves and pans heighten the drama. Readers can set a bookmark and tap any screen to bring up a thumbnail strip index; a double-tap produces views of the art unobscured by text. A separate gallery of the illustrations and commentary from the first edition bring up the rear.

A pulp-tastic production, though the abrupt cutoff won’t make the creators any friends. (iPad e-book app. 11-13)