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Inside Good Comics For Kids

Review: Gary the Pirate

A few months ago, I was browsing the children’s section of Barnes & Noble and came across this title. While I was familiar with Sava’s work (A Bit Haywire is one of my favorites), at the time the title was not on my radar. As I leafed through the book, the artwork caught my eye and I knew this was a title that would do well in my library.

Gary the Pirate
By Scott Christian Sava & Tracy Bailey
Ages 9 and up
Blue Dream Studio (IDW Publishing) May 2009 ISBN 978-160010312-4
110 p. $12.99

First there’s Gary, the klutziest pirate alive.  He gets into real trouble when he nearly destroys Stinky the Pirate’s ship, ruins his groceries, and has nothing to show for it.  Gary is such a bad pirate, he has no riches or spoils to barter with.  So, he goes in search of a treasure to make things right.  That’s when he spots Judy.  Unlike her friends, Judy is not quite ready for the adventures with boys, but definitely seeking out other adventures.

When Gary follows her home and as usual flubs his attempt at stealing her treasure, Judy agrees to make a trade, a night out on his ship to see Pirate’s Cove for the brooch her grandmother just gave her.
The young girl seeking adventure reminded me a lot of Wendy in Peter Pan. And while Gary isn’t quite Peter Pan, I know the parallels can be made. 

Bailey’s whimsical drawings and vivid coloring make this quite appealing to young readers.  There’s adventure, suspense, a bit of romance that will make this a perfect read for both boys and girls.  I suspect that this will be a surefire hit for elementary age readers.  And while there is no indication of a sequel, I’m sure there’s room for another adventure with Gary and Judy.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 3 and regularly reviews for SLJ, LMC. In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.


  1. Scott Zirkel says:

    While Scott Sava and Tracy Bailey are both friends of mine, I’ll have to take credit as the Scott who wrote A Bit Haywire. :) Art by Courtney Huddleston and words by myself, Scott Zirkel. :)

    Glad you liked it!

  2. Scott Christian Sava says:

    Pay no attention to that imposter! I wrote A Bit Haywire as well.

    Ok…I really didn’t. But I do appreciate you including my buddy’s book too.

    Thank you so much Esther for the review of Gary the Pirate. I’m so glad you took a chance on it. And that you enjoyed it.

    Tracy and I have many more adventures in store. Maybe even another one with Judy and Gary.

    Thanks again.

  3. pirate claud says:

    Pirate Gary is okay, but am not a big fan.
    P.S He is kinda boring, i would read it if it had a dragon in it

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