It’s nearly time for our first Fiction in 50 challenge for the year! Fi50 for 2017 will kick off on Monday and out post for January is …
To participate, just create a piece of fiction or poetry in fewer than 51 words, post it and add your link to the comments of Monday’s Fi50 post. For more information and future prompts, click here.
It’s time to get gabbing about graphic novel goodness and today I have two options for you, each weirder than the last. First up, there’s Chickenhare by Chris Grine. I’m submitting this one for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017 and for the Wild Goose Chase Reading Challenge under category two: a book with the name of a bird in the title. You can check out my progress in all of my challenges for this year here. Anyway, here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Chickenhare: half chicken, half rabbit, 100% hero!
What’s a chickenhare? A cross between a chicken and a rabbit, of course. And that makes Chickenhare the rarest animal around! So when he and his turtle friend Abe are captured and sold to the evil taxidermist Klaus, they’ve got to find a way to escape before Klaus turns them into stuffed animals. With the help of two other strange creatures, Banjo and Meg, they might even get away. But with Klaus and his thugs hot on their trail, the adventure is only just beginning for this unlikely quartet of friends.
I’ve had this one on my TBR shelf for about four months or so after I impulse bought it because it sounded wacky. Wacky it certainly is, and I didn’t quite expect how dark it would get in some places. I’d have to say that while middle graders could certainly read and enjoy this, it’s probably more suited to slightly older readers who aren’t easily shocked (or grossed out).
So Chickenhare and Abe are sold to a taxidermist and in order to affect an escape, they must team up with a mad monkey (or is he?) and a strange girl creature with horns. All is not so simple as it seems however, because Klaus, the taxidermist, has vowed never to let any of his “pets” escape since he lost his most beloved animal, a goat called Mr Buttons. Whacking and falling out of windows ensues (on the part of the enemy) and while our heroic quartet manage to escape, it is out of the frying pan and into the fire as the team tries to navigate pitch dark tunnels that are plagued with Shromph, little trollish creatures with big pointy teeth.
And this is where the goat corpse comes in. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but just be warned that the half decomposed corpse of Mr Buttons plays a major role in the denouement of this adventure. I will readily admit that it is easily the best characterisation of a deceased goat that I have yet seen in children’s literature.
The story ends on a mild cliffhanger and while there were certainly parts of this that had me going “Eeergh”, “Blaaagh” and “Oooh, that’s not cricket!” respectively, I do actually want to know what happens to our four friends because there is a bit of a suggestion that at least two of them may not be exactly what they seem.
Again, even though the art style is quite colourful and cartoonish, the content and tone of the book is probably best suited to the YA aged reader and above.
Next up I have the first volume of stories from the popular Adventure Time TV series, Adventure Time, Volume 1 by Ryan North, Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline. Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
It’s ADVENTURE TIME! Join Finn the Human, Jake the Dog, and Princess Bubblegum for all-new adventures through The Land of Ooo.
The totally algebraic adventures of Finn and Jake have come to the comic book page! The Lich, a super-lame, SUPER-SCARY skeleton dude, has returned to the the Land of Ooo, and he’s bent on total destruction! Luckily, Finn and Jake are on the case…but can they succeed against their most destructive foe yet? Featuring fan-favorite characters Marceline the Vampire Queen, Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess and the Ice King!
I picked this up from the library on a whim in the hope that it would allow me to find out the basic gist of the TV show without having to actually watch it. Being a trendy sort of a gargoyle, I like to try and keep up with what the young folk are watching, if I can manage it. While I do feel that having read this has given me a basic grasp of who’s who and what’s what, I can’t say for certain that I actually enjoyed the read.
Essentially, in this volume, a big, nasty skeleton warrior called the Lich turns up with a nefarious sack which has the power to suck all matter into its depths. Unsurprisingly enough, Jake, Finn and all the inhabitants of the Land of Ooo (and then some), get sucked into the bag and end up in a desert landscape, from which there is no escape, let alone any sandwiches not actually made of sand.
As more of Finn’s friends (and enemies) get sucked into the Lich’s sack, it becomes apparent that they will all have to work together to save Ooo and the planet. And that is exactly what they do. Having not seen the show before, this graphic novel does give a good overview of who the important characters are and what their general roles and characteristics and catchphrases happen to be in the series. There were a number of pretty funny scenes and bits of dialogue throughout, but I found a lot of the “catchphrase” type bits rather tedious. I don’t think they translated as well to paper as they might in the actual TV series.
While I feel that I now do have a bit of an idea what the show is about, I would still like to know more…but I think I’ll just have to bite the bullet and actually watch the damn thing and save myself the bother of having to read pages and pages of high fives and such.
Don’t forget to join in with Fi50 on Monday!
Until next time,