NEOMAD INTERACTIVE COMIC

In an electric mix of live video clips, CGI effects and neon-hued comics pages, young Aborigines have exciting adventures both in Western Australia’s Pilbara Desert and in outer space.

The stories center around the scruffy Our Gang–style Love Punks, faces painted to resemble the mottled, elaborate hangout they have built from recycled junk. In the first two episodes, they take a flying car for a joy ride, then encounter the echidna god Jiribuga. Meanwhile, the Satellite Sisters play a fast-paced zero-gravity game and watch over Earth from orbit to protect it from falling space junk. In the finale, the two groups combine to rescue a spaceship full of tourists from being swallowed by the sky god Mingkala. The children are comfortable in front of the camera, the dialogue never sounds artificial, and both the video and the graphic segments show top-drawer production values. The comics pages are particularly noteworthy: They often alter inventively when swiped rather than just turn and feature melodramatic voice-overs activated by tapping dialogue bubbles, and they were created in part by the young cast itself. Furthermore, tapping bilingual lines a second time causes a translation to appear—or, for effect, sometimes not: “An ancient gigantic angry sky god! It’s trying to suck us into its muji!” Pranks and banter fly as the young cast hilariously hams its way through the plot, but there are also earnestly delivered messages about the importance both of environmental conservation and of respecting traditional beliefs.

Dazzling. (includes three “making of” featurettes) (iPad graphic-novel app. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 24, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: BighART

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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More trampling in the vineyards of the Literary Classics section, with results that will tickle fancies high and low.

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DOG MAN AND CAT KID

From the Dog Man series , Vol. 4

Recasting Dog Man and his feline ward, Li’l Petey, as costumed superheroes, Pilkey looks East of Eden in this follow-up to Tale of Two Kitties (2017).

The Steinbeck novel’s Cain/Abel motif gets some play here, as Petey, “world’s evilest cat” and cloned Li’l Petey’s original, tries assiduously to tempt his angelic counterpart over to the dark side only to be met, ultimately at least, by Li’l Petey’s “Thou mayest.” (There are also occasional direct quotes from the novel.) But inner struggles between good and evil assume distinctly subordinate roles to riotous outer ones, as Petey repurposes robots built for a movie about the exploits of Dog Man—“the thinking man’s Rin Tin Tin”—while leading a general rush to the studio’s costume department for appropriate good guy/bad guy outfits in preparation for the climactic battle. During said battle and along the way Pilkey tucks in multiple Flip-O-Rama inserts as well as general gags. He lists no fewer than nine ways to ask “who cut the cheese?” and includes both punny chapter titles (“The Bark Knight Rises”) and nods to Hamilton and Mary Poppins. The cartoon art, neatly and brightly colored by Garibaldi, is both as easy to read as the snappy dialogue and properly endowed with outsized sound effects, figures displaying a range of skin colors, and glimpses of underwear (even on robots).

More trampling in the vineyards of the Literary Classics section, with results that will tickle fancies high and low. (drawing instructions) (Graphic fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-93518-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

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