Juice Squeezers Vol. 1: The Great Bug Elevator TP
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 6, 2014
Price: $12.99
Creator(s): David Lapham, w/ colors by Lee Loughridge
Format: 128 pgs., Full-Color, 6" x 9", Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-6165-5438-5
Age Rating: 12 and up
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
David Lapham has written some very clever and interesting comics for teens and adults, but in this case he tackles a younger audience, with mixed success.  Juice Squeezers seems to try for the same light and carefree adventure as something like The Goonies, but fails in a few ways.
One is the setup itself.  Giant bugs have invaded a farming community which, for reasons never explained coherently, desperately wants to fight the bugs themselves rather than asking for outside help.  Because they insist on fighting the bugs underground, with limited resources, they train small groups of kids to fight them, underground.  So, to fight them underground, you need kids small enough to fit into the tunnels, but they're only fighting in that way because it's needed for the plot to work?  As the story progresses, this gets creepier and stranger in ways that I don't think the author intended.  It's the "let's endanger the kids for reasons the adults never explain" syndrome.
On the positive side, it's a great action-adventure story, if you ignore the plot holes and the unexplained motivations of the grown-ups.  By the end of the book there are enough plot hooks that anyone enjoying this volume will want to keep reading.  The artwork is good enough to give anyone with a fear of bugs nightmares for weeks.  Readers will either want to step on every bug they meet or avoid them entirely for a long time.
Lots of giant insect-related violence, best for grades 4+.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.