Evil Emperor Penguin TP
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Price: $8.99
Creator: Laura Ellen Anderson
Format: 64 pgs., Black & White, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-3381-3274-8
Age Rating:  7-10 years
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

Off in the Antarctica lies the lair of the Evil Emperor Penguin who, with the questionable aid of the purple octopus Number 8 and Eugene the amiable miniature Abominable Snowman, plots to rule the world.  Of course each attempt invariably fails and he's frequently thwarted by his arch-rival in world domination Evil Cat, but this would-be Emperor of the Earth never stops trying.

It's understandable if all that sounds familiar, just off of the top of my head, I can think of at least half a half dozen animated cartoons with a similar premise.  But of course, what's important is what you do with it and what helps make Evil Emperor Penguin so special is its creator Laura Ellen Anderson.  She's an author and illustrator of children's books and she brings that experience to her work in comics.

With its simplistic looking art it looks and reads more like a children's chapter book than a conventional comic book.  Fun and funny and with a sly, playful tone, the primary focus of the stories is on the relationship between the Emperor and his good natured, if utterly ineffectual, support team.  The material was originally published in The Phoenix, a British comic specifically intended for younger readers and Evil Emperor Penguin should definitely have a lot of appeal for kids.

--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant.