Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi

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Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi

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Buy Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A wealth of diverse short graphic comic stories for the pre-teens.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: March 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
ISBN: 9781419700095

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Reading books like this I wish there were various artist graphic novel themed compilations with a similar level of diversity and sustained quality. Until that time, all I can do is return to these pages, and wait for the artists - none of which I've ever heard of before - perhaps to produce more mature material. This volume has the simplest of premise - take seven creators, tell them to write a story around a box and make it fantastical, and sit back and enjoy.

The editor himself closes the show, and his piece is perhaps the best, for it is quite deep given its bluntness, and certainly can be very pretty. It's matched, I guess, for the profound morality, by Stuart Livingston's piece, and in aesthetics by Jason Caffoe, where his box is a treasure chest that gets opened - perhaps a little unfortunately...

Elsewhere Emily Carroll is flagged up as a newbie, and her opening piece shows she will have far to go. Her box contains a tiny little friendly golem character - who gets a bit less tiny, and a lot less friendly. Other artists show themselves less able to remove themselves from their day jobs on trashy kids' TV animation, and have more knockabout tales. I thought the same of Rad Sechrist's piece, but his unique design work shows up a good Japanese-inspired creation, with a lovely chase mid-story that is pure Tom and Jerry.

So while some pieces are definitely for the younger reader, my appreciation of this book is easily shareable given my age. You can't go wrong with seven stories at the eighteen-page mark, given the diversity and interest the simple remit allows for. If there are more in this series, I might just give up hope of adult comix matching them.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

More variety can be had in a compilation such as Mouse Guard: Legends of The Guard by David Petersen, it is true, but that is a spin-off from an established series. All the same, it is well worth dipping into.

Buy Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi at Amazon.com.

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