Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bad Island by Doug TenNapel YP FIC TENNAPEL

Reese didn’t even want to go on vacation.  He was happy just staying home and hanging out with friends, but nooooo.  His dad just HAD to drag the family on a boat trip.  A boat trip about as successful as the one on Gilligan’s Island (readers: do young adults know about the Gilligan, Skipper, et al.?).  His family is shipwrecked on an island inhabited by unearthly plants and creatures that want them dead.  Their only hope is to solve the secret of the strange island’s existence.  

Bad Island is not a Bad Comic.  Actually, it is a Very Good Comic.  Unfortunately, I was always thinking that it could have been A Truly Great Comic with just more time and pages.  The book has a crackling sense of movement and flow.  The story moves form beat to beat with speed and drive.  You will rip through the book in no time and greatly enjoy the excellent cartoonish art.  Then you will likely find yourself wishing there was more to it all. This isn’t the fault of the writer/artist, but because of his strengths.  His art and design are so good I want to spend more time in his world than he gives us.  I think that with the right project TenNapel could make a book as great as Jeff Smith’s masterpiece Bone, but it is certainly difficult to get long running independent comics financed in this day and age.  In the meantime, readers will have to be satisfied with Mr. TenNapel’s very good work and hope for more, larger books and more of them.  While you wait, check out more of his work in YP FIC TENNAPEL and J FIC TENNAPEL.

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