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Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines | Preview

Cover of Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines

Rube Goldberg is one of a handful of historical figures whose name has become a household word. In the early 20th century, he drew cartoons of crazy machines that accomplished simple tasks in the most complicated way possible. Like this:

Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines, by Brandon Snider and Ed Steckley, is not a comic, and it is not about the actual cartoonist, but it has the same energy. It follows a middle-schooler with the same name and a similar approach who takes part in an invention contest (or, as his school put it, a Contraption Convention). The STEAM-friendly book was written in consultation with the Rube Goldberg Foundation, and the cartoonist’s granddaughter, Jennifer George, is actively involved with the series. Here’s the publisher’s synopsis:

On the first day of middle school, Principal Kim announces that the school is going to throw a Contraption Convention— the perfect opportunity for young inventor Rube Goldberg to show off his inventions and get out of his summer–long funk! But after a fight with his friends Peal and Boob about where his priorities really lie, Rube’s Con Con entry gets off to a rocky start—and then strange incidents begin to throw the town into disarray. Boob is convinced it’s a ghost causing all of this chaos. Between Con Con, the ghostly mystery, and a new rival, Rube has his work cut out for him. But with the help of his friends, he might just get things back on track, get on top of his burgeoning anxieties, and come up with something brilliant before it’s time to face the judging table. 

Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines is the first in a series from Abrams/Amulet (coincidentally, also the publishers of the Eisner-nominated art book The Art of Rube Goldberg). It’s rated for ages 8-12 and the first volume is due out on November 16. Enjoy!

Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.

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