ICv2 Stars: 3.5 (out of 5)
Posted by Nick Smith on May 31, 2017 @ 9:28 pm CT
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Creator(s): Alejandro Jodorowsky (story); Georges Bess (art)
Format: 48 pgs., Full-Color, 9.5"x12.5" Hardcover
Age Rating: 13+
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
This book is part of a new direction for both Humanoids and Jodorowsky. For once, a book not aimed at adults! Humanoids is releasing other graphic novels aimed at children and teens this year, but this seems to be unique for Jodorowsky.
It’s also unusually approachable for a Jodorowsky graphic novel. Based on tropes from traditional children’s fantasy, the story hinges around a young prince and princess who have to go off on a magical quest to save their father. Monsters, puzzles, and a helper beast that’s only sometimes helpful are all standard, as are the needed stages of growth of the characters, if they are to succeed.
The story still has some of the symbolism and complexity of Jodorowsky’s adult works, but without the sexuality and religious tropes. The artwork by Georges Bess is very good, and he excels at some of the more hallucinogenic scenes written by Jodorowsky. The story includes a few clichés, but they are handled well.
The only real weakness of the book is that it really is a very traditional children’s fantasy, and one where the story is really aimed more at an audience younger than the suggested age rating. This kind of story and the content make this more aimed at age 10 than age 13, especially the more playful, cartoony parts of the quest. Also, the story is very short, another reason why older readers might not find it satisfying. Thus, the publisher may have been overly cautious about the age rating.
Children tend to read upwards from their real age, not downwards, as displayed by younger readers devouring books about middle-school characters. This story may disappoint teens by being too juvenile. On the other hand, younger readers who want a simple fantasy will find it very enjoyable. So, this would only get three stars for ages 13+, but four stars for readers age 10+.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.