Saturday, August 11, 2007

Graphic Novels all over the place

I told you I'd get back to kidlit. Man, I really am obsessed with First Second.

We'll start with the wonderful Robot Dreams by Sara Varon.

This is a heartbreaking word-less graphic novel about a doomed friendship. Dog wants a friend, so mail orders a build-your-own robot kit. Dog and Robot have lots of fun together--mainly reading books and watching movies from the library.

Then Dog takes Robot to the beach. After swimming and lying in the sun all day, Robot has rusted and can't move. Dog leaves him there. Dog studies up on robot repair, but by the time he gets back to the beach, it is closed.

Robot spends the winter, buried under snow, dreaming of different adventures. Dog tries (unsuccessfully) to make new friends to replace the one he's lost.

Bittersweet and lovely.

Full Disclosure: ARC provided by publisher FirstSecond at ALA.

A.L.I.E.E.E.N.: Archives of Lost Issues and Earthly Editions of Extraterrestrial Novelties by Lewis Trondheim

Oh man, this is weird.

Let's just say it starts off with two ugly/cute aliens skipping along an alien meadow. The blue one has is eyes closed and immediately skips into a tree with two unfortunately placed branches and gouges his eyes out...

Because I have a very sick sense of humor, I found it hilarious.

Where this isn't wordless, all the words are in an alien language, so it might as well be. There are several short, interconnected adventures that involve lots of alien violence and poop.

It is weird and bizarre, but I liked it.

The Professor's Daughter by Joann Sfar. Illustrated by Emmanuel Guilbert

I'm torn on the age range on this. My library puts it as adult, but I think it's more of a late jr high/ high school on up. (SLJ says it's 10th grade+)

Anyway, in this Victorian London, mummies (the Egyptian kind) can walk and talk and feel emotion, even though they've been dead for milennia. This is a love story between Imhotep IV and the daughter of the professor who oversaw his excavation.

An afternoon stroll goes horribly awry and leads in a poisoned police officer, a kidnapped Queen Victoria, and the threat of Imhotep being placed in an exhibit case at the museum for the foreseeable future.

Along the way, we deal with culture and time clash, fathers and sons, and fathers and daughters. It's short, sweet, and packs a lot of punch, which is superbly delivered with Guilbert's muted watercolors that perfectly capture not only the sweetness of love and the time and place...

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