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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review: Muppet Sherlock Holmes

Image property of Boom! Comics

Muppet Sherlock Holmes
Boom! Kids
ISBN 978-1-60886-613-7
$9.99

Being new to the world of kids’ comics and only letting Henry pick what he wants to read, I decided that I would be proactive and try reading one of the Muppet stories from Boom! Kids.  I have always admired them from afar.  The cover art is as good as it gets and I was always interested to read a Muppet take on classic stories.

Browsing the kids’ section at my local comic book store, I saw that the trade paper back of Muppet Sherlock Holmes was out and thought it would be a nice way to be introduced into the series.  This book collects the first four issues of Muppet Sherlock Holmes in an extremely sharp little package.   Stephanie Gonzaga should be applauded for her design on this product.  It is very inviting.  The covers, both inside and out, are stunning and the complete package of this book is extremely successful.

I would like to start with the art, which did not disappoint.  Amy Mebberson draws beautiful covers, and her take on the characters and the scenery of London are top notch.  The colors really jump off the page (with the help of Braden Lamb) and the characters are extremely expressive and engaging.  The level of detail, from the mustaches to the plaid coats provide a feeling of authenticity that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would appreciate.  It is hard not to get drawn to this book with the work she provided. 

The stories that are collected in this volume each provide their own narrative that can be enjoyed on its own, but when taken together in a package provide for a deeper story that the parent will enjoy along with the child.  Patrick Storck captures the feel of the Muppets and often it felt like I was a kid again watching the Muppet Show.   Fozzie (Dr. Watson) has his normal collection of jokes, puns abound throughout each story and Gonzo (Holmes) demonstrated that the Look-a-fication method for solving crimes is very effective. 

Some of the jokes might be over the heads of some kids, but I don’t think they would deter from your child’s enjoyment over this book and would add to the adult’s.  I was hesitant to write such a gushing review for my first one, but I thoroughly enjoyed this title as much as I had hoped I would.  My only complaint now is that I don’t have any other Muppet comics at the house to read.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes is a great comic for both kids and adults that is jam packed with nostalgic Muppet humor, gorgeous artwork and clever stories that are sure to entertain.

MNB

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Henry Herbert Does Indeed Read Comics

I am starting this blog to write about the benefits that I see, as a father, to my son reading comics.  He has been reading comics, or having them read to him, since Free Comic Book Day 2009 when he was almost 2 years old.  He is three and a half and he loves going to the comic book store and is one of the biggest fans of reading that I know.  As a parent, having my child love to read at the level he does is very rewarding.  He is beginning to understand how words are formed from the sound effects like BAM! and BOOF! and it is a joy to see.  This blog will assess the kid's comic book market from a parent's perspective.

Free Comic Book Day introduced him to a multitude of comics and he really gravitated towards the Top Shelf comic.  Do yourself a favor and visit http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ right now.  While he loved all of the stories in the book, he was drawn to Owly the most.  Owly is a series by Andy Runton (http://www.andyrunton.com/) that I can't recommend enough.

Image via www.topshelfcomix.com


What I love about Owly is that he is able to read the stories to himself, because the dialogue is told through a series of images in the speech bubbles.  He is free to use his imagination to make the story come to life.  The Owly stories include good moral lessons, including teamwork, sharing and a care for the environment.  Owly and Wormy's friendship is a pleasure to see and I enjoy these books as much as he does.  The artwork is fun and accessible and he has loved Owly from the moment he laid eyes on him.  His number one choice when he is allowed to pick a "big book" is almost always Owly.  I would like to personally thank Andy Runton for creating such an endearing character that has brought joy to so many.  Go out and buy an Owly book for your child right now!

At the 2010 San Diego Comic Con I was fortunate enough to meet Andy and he signed a print that we put in my daughter's nursery.  Even though she wasn't 1, his whimsical art and happy characters captivated her and she is now an Owly fan.  She picks up her older brother's books and carries them around like they are a prized possession.

As this blog continues I will post reviews of books and hopefully be able to interview some of the creative forces behind these great kids comics that can get our kids reading again!  Direct any email comments, suggestions, etc. to henryherbertcomics@gmail.com.

Thanks!