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October 13, 2011 Edition
Cheerful and curious young Rex, an otherworldly fox, is taken from his home planet to another where he meets his soulmate and has adventures in the constantly morphing otherworld. If this sounds familiar, itís because Rex was first serialized in Flight, but here his stories are finally collected together. If you skip the first chapter (and I advise you do Ė it is an attempt to explain the whys and wherefors which I found distracting and unhelpful), youíll have a delightfully wordless imaginative romp through landscapes reminiscent of Shaun Tanís work, but with a sweeter sensibility.
This odd, but entrancing offering from French cartoonist David B. features the dead crew of the Flying Dutchman, still going through the motions of pirating despite being unable to enjoy the fruits of their labor. One day they witness the destruction of an ocean liner and rescue a baby from the wreckage, deciding to keep him alive until he turns 10 (when he will make a fine cabin boy in the afterlife). Itís fun to catch glimpses of the men the ghost pirates were and to watch their outlook change from bitterness to excitement as they raise the boy they call Tiny King, but sobering to realize Tiny Kingís 10th birthday is approaching. Will the pirates really turn Tiny King into the eternal cabin boy he wishes to be?
The Odyssey, by Gareth Hinds; and, The Odyssey, by Tim Mucci, both based on Homerís epic poem. Here is the classic story of a man who has gone to war, fought well, and now just wants to go home. The gods, however, have different ideas and throw many obstacles in Odysseusís path, and twenty years pass before he sees his wife and son again Ė and, even when he does return home, heís almost immediately compelled to pick up weapons. Hinds, well-known for his graphic adaptations of Shakespeareís classics, and Mucci are drawing for different audiences. Hindsí version could be read by high schoolers looking for subtleties, familiar quotes, and closer adherence to the plot. Mucci is more colorful, energetic, and is paced more like a modern adventure story, and is fine introduction to this classic for older elementary and middle school readers.
Mikey and his big brother Dave are in constant competition, whether they are arguing about belongings or trying to get each other in trouble with Dad. When they join the ranks of superheroes, theyíre still arguing, but theyíre also watching each otherís backs, even as they push back against the bullying Kid Thunder, trying to outsmart Mr. Mental, or even their Mom, who is trying to get them to finish dinner before saving the world. Made up of many short stories and single-page jokes, this has great running gags (Dadís preoccupation with the lawn), exciting superhero antics, and plenty of flying.
Who can resist pushing a big red button? Zita canít! Something opens up in the air, tentacles come out, and her best friend Joseph is grabbed up and taken away. Shaken and guilty, Zita bravely presses the button again, jumps into the something herself and finds herself on a world thatís counting the days until an asteroid hits and destroys them all. With the help of a giant mouse creature, a tube of doorpaste, an inventor named Piper, and a rusty robot, she sets off to save Joseph and get back home before disaster strikes.