Saturday, June 20, 2009

Adventures in Graphic Novels

I just finished reading 3 graphic novels in a row. As I've said before, I'm not a big fan of the genre but it's growing on me. Add the fact that when I went to buy the books on my daughter's summer reading list one of the three was in graphic novel form, and I'm becoming more accepting. Somewhere, my blogging mentor Mary Lee is smiling!

Wonderland written by Tommy Kovac and illustrated by Sonny Liew is a sort of retelling of Alice in Wonderland with some rather strange twists. The reader is introduced to the Queen of Spades and the main character the White Rabbit's house maid named Mary Ann. As the front flap says, the story grows "curiouser and curiouser" as all of the characters, new and old, mistake her for the Alice Monster. I liked the story of this one, I think it might be a bit too confusing for most of my readers, and I loved the artwork. Of the three I just finished, Sonny Liew's drawings are my favorite. I'm pretty sure those who are bigger fans of the real Alice in Wonderland story are going to love this one.

Hyperactive written by Scott Christian Sava and illustrated by Joseph Bergin III was probably my favorite overall of the three I read. I say this because I know I can put it in our library and it won't stay on the shelves. While sitting in class little Johnny Johnson realizes that the world around him moves TOOOOO SLLLOOOOWWW! Classes are too long, the walk home too slow, daily chores too much time, and then his metabolism goes crazy and he finds he can move at superhuman speed. As he races around the playground to prove that he has super speed, his best friend Freddy only has one request, to be his sidekick. I love the dodge ball scene where the girl bully has plans for Johnny's head that involve the two dodge balls she is holding, but Johnny's super speed kicks in and the bully's team is devastated on the gym floor and former drill sargent PE teacher is in shock. The story is fun and the kids will like this one as much as The Knights of the Lunch Table because it's simple and the illustrations bright and colorful. I like this one a lot.

Joey Fly Private Eye in Creep Crawly Crime written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Neil Numberman was a funny take off on old detective movies complete with the beautiful butterfly victim who turns out to be trouble. Joey Fly takes on an assistant a young scorpion named Sammy Stingtail to solve the mystery of the missing diamond pencil case. I love the way that Joey talks in the classic tough guy detective phrases like "A butterfly. Swallowtail, if I didn't miss my guess. She was a tall drip of water. And I was suddenly feeling parched." The book made me laugh throughout and the case is pretty predictable so the kids will probably solve it too, and that's a good thing. I'm not sure they will get the humor as much as I did, but the drawings are well done and entertaining, so the kids will most likely enjoy this one.

It looks like I've found two more graphic novels to add to the library, our collection is growing and I'll keep looking. I'm pretty excited because I just learned at Frank Cammuso's blog that book two of the Knights of the Lunch Table is ready for release and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.


  1. Are these all 3 good for the library? Would you recommend them all? I am trying to build up our graphic novel section too.

  2. I'd recommend the last two for the elementary library, I think Wonderland might be too advanced or confusing for even the best fifth grade readers

  3. Just wanted to say thank you for the positive review of Hyperactive.
    I really appreciate you taking the time to read it and review it.
    So glad you liked it.