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Baloney and Friends: Going Up! | Review

Baloney and Friends Going Up! coverBaloney and Friends: Going Up!
Writer/artist: Greg Pizzoli
Little, Brown and Company; 12.99

Greg Pizzoli’s Baloney and friends return for a second collection of short, silly stories in Going Up! The book takes its title from the story “The Ladder,” in which Baloney, the roughly lunchmeat-shaped pig, and his friend Peanut, a blue horse, find a ladder under a tree and find it to be the most amazing of discoveries, much to the annoyance of their friend Krabbit, the grumpy rabbit, who would much rather continue reading in peace then hearing his friends enthuse about being “up” after climbing a few rungs.

That’s about the extent of the conflict in these gentle stories, which range in length from two-page mini-comics to the 16-page “The Missing Sneeze,” in which Baloney’s third sneeze disappears…until it comes out in some other form somewhere else.

Pizzoli’s character designs for his colorful quartet of characters are all super-simple—so simple the end of the first volume included a section on how to draw them, line by line—matching the level of complexity of the rather minimal stories they star in.

This volume ends with more artistic advice from “super famous author + illustrator Greg Pizzoli.” Here his drawing tips are centered on how to show emotion within your drawings, and Baloney and friends serve as models as he demonstrates how to make them look happy, sad, angry, worried, and suspicious.

As with the original, subtitle-ess Baloney and Friends, there’s an admirable meta-quality to the book, wherein the characters are all well aware they are in a book, and act accordingly. It opens with Baloney trying to compose a theme song for them all, and concludes with Peanut worried he slept through too much of the book, as the gag at the end of one of the final stories involves Peanut falling asleep.

As the characters review everything they did throughout the book, Peanut asks, “So what should we do next?” “I know!” Baloney answers, “Let’s read it again!”

It’s the sort of short, simple, sweet book that one can read over and over again, and find doing so rewarding.

J. Caleb Mozzocco About J. Caleb Mozzocco

J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.

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