Image Courtesy :01 Second Books
Written by: Jorge Aguirre, Illustrated by Rafael Rosado.
:01 Second 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59643-582-7 (paperback)
$14.99 Ages 7 & Up
All Claudette wants to do is battle giants. Unfortunately, everyone is dead-set against her leaving the town, much less battling mythical creatures. Taking matters into her own hands, Claudette tricks and aspiring pastry chef (her little brother, Gaston) and her friend and aspiring princess Marie into sneaking out of town under the pretext of training for princesses and pastry chefs. Now, with these three “heroes” on the adventure of a lifetime, the entire town hot on their heels in an effort to rescue them, and a giant discovery in store, Claudette may have gotten herself into a problem she can’t get out of.
Aguirre and Rosado are veterans of children’s entertainment, and their latest offering is no different. The characters are all well defined and unique, not only through the artwork, but through their personalities. Claudette is hell-bent for leather on making a name for herself, while Gaston has absolute faith in his cooking, and Marie is princess in everything but title. Even the mass of villagers have their own unique foibles, adding color to a potentially boring mass of extras. Rosado’s artwork is cartoony, but instead of detracting from the story, it accentuates the frenetic and fun pace of Aguirre’s storytelling.
Aguirre and Rosado are professionals, and it shows. I had such a difficult time getting through this book – not because it’s a bad book, or difficult to navigate, but because I was laughing so much. I had to stop every couple of minutes to compose myself, and explain to my family what was causing my mirth. This is a brilliantly executed, beautifully illustrated, and thoughtfully written story that needs to be in everyone’s library. It’s one of those rare stories that needs to be placed in the canon of children’s graphic novels and be celebrated for generations to come.
In industry news, it appears that Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane have finally settled their dispute over ownership rights regarding several characters created back in the 1990s. A comprehensive timeline cane be located here. Special thanks to Pádraig Ó Méalóid, who slaved over many, many documents (physical and digital) to bring some semblance of order to the whole shebang.
Jimmy Gownley has sold the rights to an as-of-yet unnamed graphic novel series. He’s keeping a tight lid on the specifics, but if it’s a tenth of what he’s done previously, it’s going to be great stuff.
Dan McGuiness, author and illustrator of the popular graphic novel series Pilot & Huxley (which was my very first review I ever did, and then lost – I’m still kicking myself over that one Dan!) has just signed a deal to bring an animated version of his series to American Audiences. Scholastic is behind this move, so be expecting something concrete within the next year (this is complete conjecture! Do not quote as fact!). McGuiness is also working on a new series. He’s only graced us with one image so far, but knowing McGuiness, it’s going to be interesting. Latest news from McGuiness cane be found here.
Finally, I don’t usually talk about web comics, but this one is just too good to pass up. Steve Conley has started a new web comic based off of his character “Bloop” an adorable green space monkey. Bloop started out as comic relief in Conley’s Astounding Space Thrills comics, and has been nagging Conley ever since. This is definitely a series to keep an eye on, and promises to be a huge delight to readers. Check out Bloop’s page here.