Hi! I’m Sabrina, a young writer from the wonderful Midwest. This week, I’m reviewing two all-ages comic titles, Pendragon: Book One, and Korgi: Book One. Enjoy!!
Pendragon: Book 1 (The Merchant of Death)
Created by D.J. MacHale
Adapted and illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil
Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old guy. He has a great family, terrific friends, and a generally sweet life. But there is something very special about Bobby: He is going to save the world.The Merchant of Death is where the adventure begins. Bobby learns that he is a Traveler, charged with moving from territory to territory in an epic war to stop the evil Saint Dane from sending Halla into chaos.
And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby must fight for Halla—every time and place that has ever existed.
One of the most hotly contested genres in all media is that of adaptations. They can range from operas to fairy tales, from movies to novels. Some believe that they can’t do justice to the original work, and that they deviate too far from the original subject matter. However, an adaptation does occasionally pop up that is faithful to the original work (i.e. The Dark Knight, Schindler’s List, etc.). This doesn’t happen often when it comes to comic books, but once in a while, you can find a real gem. Pendragon is an acclaimed science-fiction-fantasy crossover that appeals to children of all ages. Now on its ninth and penultimate installment, with three prequels on the way, it’s become an establishment. This particular volume, a graphic retelling of the first book in the series, is a joy to read, whether you’ve read the novel or not. No background is needed, so you can just jump right in to the land of the Travelers, the territories, and Bobby Pendragon, the boy who will save the universe.
The feat that I thought was accomplished particularly well was the attention that was paid to keeping the story as similar as the novel. I read the book itself many moons ago, and a feeling of déjà vu swept over me when reading the graphic novel. Bobby, Courtney, Mark, Uncle Press, Saint Dane, Loor…no one is forgotten or “edited out”, and their designs are all quite faithful to the original descriptions. The art itself is suitable for the material, and is actually polished and easy to follow. Overall, the production quality of the book is superb, the story is as good as the novel, and the art is a great addition. Even though the back cover says this book is suitable for kids 10 and up, I’d recommend 12 and up, for some scenes of violence.
Korgi: Book One
Korgi is a gorgeously illustrated woodland fantasy about a young girl, Ivy, her Korgi cub, Sprout, and their adventures in Korgi Hollow.
In this first volume of the series, Ivy and Sprout discover some interesting things about themselves as they stray from their village and face danger for the first time.
If there was ever a true “all-ages” book, this is it. Korgi hits every note perfectly, and can hook readers all across the spectrum with its tantalizing suspense and action. It is wordless, but the book gives new meaning to the phrase, “show, don’t tell”. The art can’t be described as anything short of amazing. The lovely crosshatched characters and backgrounds make the simple act of turning pages a joy. Every few pages, there’s a lavish two page spread of the view from a cliff, or a stroll past an enormous tree. The art style itself is perfect: it can convey ultimate terror and darkness, and then, the light and airy joy of youth. This mixture of maturity and childishness is what makes this book so appealing to readers of all ages.
The art is spectacular. It gives warmth and depth (or coldness and bleakness) to a tree, or a little dog, or a lumbering monster. As stated before, the one and two-page spreads are simply gorgeous, and all the others pages are works of art in and of themselves. The storyline is simple: a young woodland girl and her little Korgi stray from their home and find evil underground. This is only the first volume in the series, and we get some spooky foreshadowing in the last few pages. If you’re looking for a book that both you and your child can read and enjoy, look no further than this. It’s understatedly excellent. Recommended for all ages, but there are a few scenes with monsters, although on-page violence is minimal.
Pictures copyright thependragonadventure.com and Top Shelf, respectively.