Fresh, thought-provoking, consistently amusing; readers will start to browse, then find they've finished it.

MACANUDO #2

A second collection of daily comic strips from Argentine cartoonist and children’s-book creator Liniers (What There Is Before There Is Anything There, 2014, etc.).

First run in La Nación in 2003 and 2004, the delicately colored strips vary wildly in tone and content but are unified by an appealingly daffy sensibility. The cartoonist has a rotating stable of characters he seems to trot out whenever the mood strikes. Book-loving Henrietta delights in the company of her cat, Fellini, and her teddy bear, Mandelbaum, and enjoys sweetly innocent “adventures.” In one strip, she hangs from a tree branch, explaining to a curious Fellini that “I want to know how I’m going to see the world when I’m a grown-up….” Other recurring characters include Z-25, the sensitive robot (unsurprisingly, he is quite lonely), the top-hatted, carrot-nosed “mysterious man in black,” a squadron of gnomes with tall, striped or polka-dot hats, a flock of penguins, “the bovine movie buff,” and most poignantly, Oliverio the olive, whose punch lines almost always include the tragic realization that he is a foodstuff. Many cartoons celebrate the surreal, others provoke existential musings, and still others are wry acknowledgments of the challenges inherent in producing a daily comic strip (“I recently got an idea for a joke,” confides a man whose hat has grown and shrunk over eight minipanels, “but it got away from me”).

Fresh, thought-provoking, consistently amusing; readers will start to browse, then find they've finished it. (Comic strips. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59270-169-8

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

Of late, there have been many unsuccessful attempts to adapt Shakespeare into the graphic-novel format; Hinds’s beautiful new offering now sets the standard that all others will strive to meet. Presenting readers with deftly drawn characters (based on live models) and easily read dialogue that modulates over the course of the work from adapted prose to the original Shakespeare, he re-works the classic Shakespeare play of deception, greed and revenge. Though located in a modern setting, readers will easily follow the premise and find themselves lost in the intricately lovely Venetian backdrop. While this adaptation may leave purists sniffing at the omission of entire scenes and characters, Hinds carefully explains to his readers in a note why and how he made those choices. A deceptively simple graphic novel on the surface, this volume begs for multiple readings on a closer level, at the same time acting as a wonderful introduction to the original. Easily on a par with his stellar adaptation of Beowulf (2007), it’s a captivating, smartly executed work. (Graphic novel. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3024-9

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times...

ROMEO AND JULIET

From the Campfire Classics series

A bland, uninspired graphic adaptation of the Bard’s renowned love story.

Using modern language, McDonald spins the well-known tale of the two young, unrequited lovers. Set against Nagar’s at-times oddly psychedelic-tinged backgrounds of cool blues and purples, the mood is strange, and the overall ambiance of the story markedly absent. Appealing to what could only be a high-interest/low–reading level audience, McDonald falls short of the mark. He explains a scene in an open-air tavern with a footnote—“a place where people gather to drink”—but he declines to offer definitions for more difficult words, such as “dirges.” While the adaptation does follow the foundation of the play, the contemporary language offers nothing; cringeworthy lines include Benvolio saying to Romeo at the party where he first meets Juliet, “Let’s go. It’s best to leave now, while the party’s in full swing.” Nagar’s faces swirl between dishwater and grotesque, adding another layer of lost passion in a story that should boil with romantic intensity. Each page number is enclosed in a little red heart; while the object of this little nuance is obvious, it’s also unpleasantly saccharine. Notes after the story include such edifying tidbits about Taylor Swift and “ ‘Wow’ dialogs from the play” (which culls out the famous quotes).

Pub Date: May 10, 2011

ISBN: 978-93-80028-58-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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