Saturday, July 23, 2011

Secret Science Alliance

A recent great find was the graphic novel by Eleanor Davis,
"The Secret Science Alliance (and the Copycat Crook.)"

Aimed at older 'kids,' it is the highly entertaining and fun
fight for the under-dog science kids..with a twist! While the
story starts out as a POV of Julian (who, perhaps not
coincidentally, looks reminiscent of Dexter of Dexter's
 Laboratory?) as the incoming science geek at a new school.

His introduction to the new digs, his dealings with
family, and his attempts at assimilating as a popular kid
are heroically and tragically relateable, yet hilarious in the way
they are depicted.

Soon enough, he meets some fellow science geeks in
unusual packaging. I loved how the very believable
takes on Greta and Ben as 'non-traditional' science geeks
both introduces some much-needed kid characters of
different race/ethnicity, but also turns the nerd/geek
dynamic on its ear. (Similar to Percy Jackson, any
ADHD/ADD kid, alternate learning, dyslexic, etc. can
relate to the Ben character in particular!)

(The adults also get fair treatment, unlike so many 'kids'

The very tight and crisp art is a joy; lots of awesome
cutaway views, large dioramas, blueprints and other
intricate cool stuff. (Comic geeks will perhaps note
their appreciation if they are fans of Ty Templeton,
Kano, Chris Ware, and other fabulously talented

This is definitely an all-ages accessible book, an
engaging and light read, but filled with your usual
outsider-fights-back inspiration. Great for all the
bullied/ignored/misunderstood kid...of any age!

(Bloomsbury publisher.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

George O'Connor

I found these graphic novels shelved in the
"Juvenile" section (sigh) of our local library.
I was intrigued by the cover art and opened
them to find a real gem.

George O'Connor is a graphic artist who
had the idea to do a graphic novel per god in
the Greek pantheon. The first was of course
"Zeus" and then "Athena."  (Volume 3 releases July 19th!)

The books are incredibly well done!
They are vibrant and fun, while still
very adeptly managing to maintain all
the perversity of the Greek stories.
(Hey, we don't refer to Bible stories as
'myths,' so...)

The art is crisp and simple, elegant line use
(think P. Craig Russell, Tim Sale, Mike Mignola)
but has its own flavor and style. The coloring
and pacing and lettering are all tremendous,
and the story actually made the convoluted
story of the prior gods easily accessible.

There were some really beautiful and creative
choices for depicting the majesty and magic of
the weighty elements, too.

These are available pretty much everywhere.
You can also check out the artist's website at
or the website for the graphic novels at
Olympians Graphic Novels;
 Volume One; Zeus, King of the Gods
Volume Two; Athena, Grey-eyed Goddess