Chock full of inventive narrative tweaks.

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MISTER INVINCIBLE

LOCAL HERO

Need ice? Cat up a tree? Giant robot on the attack? There’s no job too large or too small for “the one and only true comic book superhero!”

Masked, caped, chubby, and imperturbable, Mister Invincible earns his moniker here in dozens of mind- and narrative-bending graphic mini-adventures thanks to his unique power to reach or chuck things into neighboring panels above or below. Catch a speedy thief? Mister Invincible nimbly drops into the next row! Foil a mad scientist’s “mega-virus”? Just roll a lawn mower into the adjacent panel’s microscopic world. Being clever as well as able to clobber unsuspecting villains from a later scene, Mister Invincible can even take on adversaries like Old Grandpa Jack, who can hurl words—or, more precisely, dialogue balloons—to damaging effect, and the Jester, a would-be supervillain capable of darting suddenly into view from the subsequent page and vanishing the same way. Jousselin too shows uncommon cleverness, as all these exploits and hijinks require exact, frequently ingenious placement of figures on both the same and neighboring pages to make them work. As Mister Invincible explains to one mystified witness, “It’s just the incredible magic of comics, ma’am.” The episodes in this French import, all drawn cartoon-style (with colors by Croix) in rows of squared-off panels, run one to 15 pages each. Mister Invincible presents White; there is a handful of secondary characters of color.

Chock full of inventive narrative tweaks. (Graphic adventure. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-942367-61-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Magnetic Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise.

BAD KITTY GOES ON VACATION

From the Bad Kitty (chapter book) series

A trip to the Love Love Angel Kitty World theme park (“The Most Super Incredibly Happy Place on Earth!”) turns out to be an exercise in lowered expectations…to say the least.

When Uncle Murray wins a pair of free passes it seems at first like a dream come true—at least for Kitty, whose collection of Love Love Kitty merch ranges from branded underwear to a pink chainsaw. But the whole trip turns into a series of crises beginning with the (as it turns out) insuperable challenge of getting a cat onto an airplane, followed by the twin discoveries that the hotel room doesn’t come with a litter box and that the park doesn’t allow cats. Even kindhearted Uncle Murray finds his patience, not to say sanity, tested by extreme sticker shock in the park’s gift shop and repeated exposures to Kitty World’s literally nauseating theme song (notation included). He is not happy. Fortunately, the whole cloying enterprise being a fiendish plot to make people so sick of cats that they’ll pick poultry as favorite pets instead, the revelation of Kitty’s feline identity puts the all-chicken staff to flight and leaves the financial coffers plucked. Uncle Murray’s White, dumpy, middle-aged figure is virtually the only human one among an otherwise all-animal cast in Bruel’s big, rapidly sequenced, and properly comical cartoon panels.

This kid-friendly satire ably sets claws into a certain real-life franchise. (Graphic satire. 8-11)

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20808-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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Another epic outing in a graphic hybrid series that continues not just to push the envelope, but tear it to shreds.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE SENSATIONAL SAGA OF SIR STINKS-A-LOT

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 12

Pranksters George and Harold face the deadliest challenge of their checkered careers: a supersmart, superstrong gym teacher.

With the avowed aim of enticing an audience of “grouchy old people” to the Waistband Warrior’s latest exploit, Pilkey promises “references to health care, gardening, Bob Evans restaurants, hard candies, FOX News, and gentle-yet-effective laxatives.” He delivers, too. But lest fans of the Hanes-clad hero fret, he also stirs in plenty of fart jokes, brain-melting puns, and Flip-O-Rama throwdowns. After a meteorite transforms Mr. Meaner into a mad genius (evil, of course, because “as everyone knows, most gym teachers are inherently evil”) and he concocts a brown gas that turns children into blindly obedient homework machines, George and Harold travel into the future to enlist aid from their presumably immune adult selves. Temporarily leaving mates and children (of diverse sexes, both) behind, Old George and Old Harold come to the rescue. But Meaner has a robot suit (of course he has a robot suit), and he not only beats down the oldsters, but is only fazed for a moment when Capt. Underpants himself comes to deliver a kick to the crotch. Fortunately, gym teachers, “like toddlers,” will put anything in their mouths—so an ingestion of soda pop and Mentos at last spells doom, or more accurately: “CHeffGoal-D’BLOOOM!”

Another epic outing in a graphic hybrid series that continues not just to push the envelope, but tear it to shreds. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-50492-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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