MAKING WAVES

From the Mermin series , Vol. 5

A buoyant undersea adventure.

Humans and sea people teeter on the brink of war over diminishing resources.

For years, the human inhabitants of Atlantis have lived peacefully alongside Mer, their green, gilled sea-people neighbors. They shared in the bounty of the precious energeodes, which powered their cities. However, as energeode supplies dwindle, tensions between the once-harmonious peoples become strained. With the escalating stresses, both the Atlanteans and the people of Mer start to suspect one another of even more wrongdoings. Mermin, the small, wide-eyed, and eternally cheery heir to the Mer throne and friend of Pete, a human kid with light-brown skin, finds himself in the middle of the conflict and must learn to summon the power of the sea to save his friend and his kingdom. Weiser has assembled a wholly enjoyable cast of characters and crafted a zippy tale perfectly suited to graphic storytelling. His rounded, bubbly, and altogether eye-catchingly cute marine inhabitants are awash in a pleasing blend of cool oceanic hues. Although this is the fifth and final volume in the series, it’s a fine jumping-in point for new readers, as it encapsulates a complete-feeling arc—explaining the Mer/Atlantean conflict from its beginnings and progressing through its battles to its resolution—and offers enough back story about characters to satisfy those unfamiliar with previous escapades.

A buoyant undersea adventure. (Graphic fantasy/adventure. 6-11)

Pub Date: April 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62010-394-4

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

DRAGON PUNCHER

Another quirky offering from the man behind the Johnny Boo series. Three unconventional characters populate this small charmer: Dragon Puncher, the moody, aloof hero of the tale (modeled after Kochalka’s cat, Spandy), Spoony-E, Dragon Puncher’s young, perky, monster sidekick (who bears the likeness of Kochalka’s son, Eli), and the fearsome dragon (the author himself). When Dragon Puncher meets up with Spoony-E and his wooden spoony-spoon, the young monster sees what Dragon Puncher does not—that the hero needs his help to defeat the menacing, drooling dragon. The more Dragon Puncher resists his appeals, the more Spoony-E persists. This is hardly a new formula, but it’s a winning one. A novel mix of photographs and illustration, this unique little gem is chockfull of giggles. The three main characters’ carefully selected Photoshopped expressions are grin-worthy; the author’s grimacing expressions as the dragon are priceless. With its vivid palette and rampant silliness, this work should enrapture young readers. Effervescently bizarre.  (Graphic fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-60309-057-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Top Shelf Productions

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

BURMA CHRONICLES

Though classified as a graphic novelist, Delisle has claimed territory all his own as a graphic-travel memoirist.

Insightful, illuminating memoir of a year under a totalitarian regime.

In 2005-06, Delisle (Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China, 2006, etc.) accompanied his wife, who works as an administrator for Doctors Without Borders, to the country recognized by the United Nations as Myanmar. The United States and other democratic countries, however, still call it Burma, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the military junta that seized power in 1989. As in the illustrator’s previous adventures in China and North Korea (Pyongyang, 2005), the focus is less on politics and more on the lives of the people he encounters—though such lives are profoundly shaped by politics. He comes to accept checkpoints and censorship as routine, and he does his best to find a suitable home, survive with intermittent electricity and Internet access and take care of his toddler son Louis, whose charm transcends cultural borders. The author also fears malaria, bird flu and poisonous snakes, though the DWB medical community provides more comfort than much of the Burmese citizenry enjoys. Delisle writes and illustrates a children’s booklet on HIV, an important contribution to a country in which heroin and prostitution are rampant. As in previous volumes, his eye for everyday detail combined with droll, matter-of-fact narration humanizes his 14-month experience in a country that might seem traumatic, even intolerable, in other hands. “There were no demands and no uprisings either,” he writes. “Things are always very calm here, thanks to a regime that creates paralysis by fomenting fear on a daily basis.” The undercurrents of Buddhism throughout the book culminate in his visit to a temple, where his meditation proves transformative.

Though classified as a graphic novelist, Delisle has claimed territory all his own as a graphic-travel memoirist.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-897299-50-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2008

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